Pastor Young Sun Lee

 

Greetings to the loving family in Christ of Dixon First UMC!

It is one year and almost two months since I started my first pastoral ministry here in Dixon First UMC as Associate pastor following my call to the ministry in God’s overflowing grace and now I feel so blessed to be allowed to continue to serve this loving community one more year with God’s blessings.

Looking back on the days and months that I have been living in and serving this loving community of faith even in a pandemic situation of the COVID-19, I could witness how God’s love and grace in Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit has been leading and guiding us all into the ministries that God has planned for us as one family in Christ. It should be in unity of our faith in the Triune God that we would be able to continue our worship services and other ministries both in person and online even at the moments of difficulties that we were struggling with under the restrictions and shut-in situation to follow the protocols of COVID-19 for the safety of all the people involved in the ministries of the church.

Now that we are on the process of returning to the normal life using caution against the spread of COVID-19 variants with our phase 5 reopening of Illinois, the worship series of “Geared Up for Life,” which we have been working on last seven weeks with reflection on the passages from the Epistle to the Ephesians with seven different focused theme of each passage, has reminded us through the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to live a life of discipleship of the resources that we need as “the gear” to be “gearing up for life” in our seeking discipleship through our life as Christians.

As the major theme of the Epistle to the Ephesians we have been reflecting on through the worship series of “Geared Up for Life,” the Apostle Paul’s exhortation on the spiritual battles against the wiles of the devil that he tells us using the form of imperative in Ephesians 6:10-20 brings us a powerful message of God that we need to live on as Jesus’ disciples and God’s beloved children adopted through the love and grace of Christ Jesus, which the Apostle Paul urges us in Ephesians 6:10-11, as follows,

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  (Ephesians 6:10-11, NRSV)

The whole armor of God, which the Apostle Paul offers us using the metaphors of Roman Soldier’s armor, includes “the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes ready to go to proclaim the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,” which the Apostle Paul indicates in Ephesians 6: 14-17, as follows,

Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.  As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.  With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:14-17, NRSV)

As I mentioned in my preaching on the theme of “Armored” as the last part of the worship series, the Apostle Paul urges us to put on the whole armor of God, not just one or several of them, because each piece of spiritual armor of God he lists in the passage is essential to our lives to stand against the spiritual powers of evil without any of which we will be vulnerable in the spiritual battle against the powers of evil in this world. In addition, the armor is not just for our own personal life as a Christian, but more importantly for the whole community of faith to stand firm together as one family in Christ against any attack from any spiritual power of evil that we are confronted with in this world.

I pray that our loving community of faith, the family in Christ of Dixon First UMC, and all of Christians may be armored with the whole spiritual armor of God as the gear to be gearing up for life of discipleship, be strengthened in the loving power of Jesus Christ our Lord, and make known the mystery of the gospel through our lives as Jesus’ disciples by keeping alert and praying at all times for all creation around us to stand firm against all the powers of evil in this world.

Blessings,

Pastor Young Sun