Flower ..........Kim, Chun-su
Until I spoke his name,
he had been
no more than a mere gesture.
When I spoke his name,
he came to me
and became a flower.
Now speak my name,
one fitting my color and my scent,
as I spoke his name,
so that I may go to him
and become his flower.
We all wish
to become something.
You to me and I to you
wish to become an unforgettable meaning.
Do you like it? Which phrase do you like most? I like this expression, Until I spoke his name, he had been no more than a mere gesture. When I spoke his name, he came to me and became a flower. Now speak my name, one fitting my color and my scent, It expresses hope to become a flower to someone. In fact, I think everyone has such a hope. We all want to be a meaningful person to someone. In fact, it has important meaning in life if we have someone to call and if there is someone who calls us by name.
Wesley L. Duewel said one’s name represents everything about him/her. Don’t you think it is true? For example, think of the expression, ‘you are just like Ho-Jin Lee.’ What thought comes to you when you hear it? Good or bad? I hope it is good. Then, how about using the famous persons’ name? Then, we might understand the significance of names better. Imagine someone says, ‘you are just like Myong-park Lee (the former president of Korea)’, ‘you are just like Gun-hye Park (the current president of Korea)’, ‘you are just like Jong-il Kim (the former president of North Korea)’, ‘you are just like Jong-un Kim (the current president of North Korea).” These expressions could be praise or curse because names represent everything about that person. In the same way, the biggest praise for Christians is ‘you are like Jesus.’ It means one resembles everything about Jesus, His personality, love, compassion, humility, holiness, and power. There is no other praise higher than this.
What I was surprised in America is that people here try hard to memorize my name even though it is difficult to even pronounce it. Also, they try to remember and call me by name even when we meet by chance. ‘Hello, Ho-jin.’ I think it is American culture to call a person by name. I think it is great custom to remember others’ names and call them by name. Koreans are shy about calling others by name so don’t practice it often. So we call others, ‘hey, here,’ or last name only. ‘Mr. Kim, Park, Choi, or Jong.’ We might use only last name because of convenience but I hope we could call each other by first name. So like in the poem, we can be a meaningful to someone.
Call husband and wife by name.
Our names change over time. When a man meets a woman, they become a flower to each other as in the poem. They make a nickname fitting their’ color and scent for each other, ‘honey, sweeties, oppa, or sis.’ Such nicknames are sweet melody to my ear if my loved one calls me. I will never feel bored even when I heard it thousands times over and over. Sweet names by the loved one make my whole body dancing because they come out of love.
When two loved ones meet and get married, they have a child. When a child is born, they are called as the child’s mom or dad. The change of name means the change of life. I think it is convenient to call parents using their child’s name. I am also called as ‘Jae-hyung dad’ for many years. Sometimes I felt my own life is disappeared . Especially, in the case of a full time mother, it gets worse. No one will call her by her name and she will be known as the mother of her child. She only lives as a mother and a wife. She would feel her own life is taken away. It is because she is no longer called by her name after marriage. She feel more depressed when even their husband won’t call her by her name anymore.
God the father’s calling
As we have read last week’s biblical reading, we can learn that Jesus also wants to be someone meaningful to God the Father. Jesus was baptized by John and came out of the water. Then, the heaven was torn open and the Holy Spirit came upon him like a dove. A voice was heard, Mark 1:11, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Although the bible doesn’t describe how Jesus was reacted with God’s voice, we can easily imagine His response. I am sure Jesus was very happy. Sons are always thirsty for their father’s recognition. ‘You are my son!’ such a simple word becomes strength to sons. My son! Jesus must have been delighted with God the father’s calling. It is the evidence of love if one calls the other by name with recognition.
Long for God’s voice calling our name.
This is what we should long for. ‘You are my son. You are my daughter. I made you.’ God opened a way for us to become His son and daughter and to be reborn by believing in Jesus Christ.
For a whole week, I have imagined in experiencing Jesus. Imagine that heaven opens and the Holy Spirit come upon us like a dove and a voice calls us. I hope God calls upon us in this worship. It will be joyful if we experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in worship, or in praying. It will be joyful if God calls our name and our heart will burst with joy. We can be a flower to God when He calls us. So we should long for the moment when the heaven opens and the Holy Spirit falls upon us and God calls us. It is an honor and glory to be called by God. No matter how troubled our life is, how heavy our heart is, how badly we are beaten or accused, we can overcome when the heaven opens and the Holy Spirit falls upon us and God calls us. Sadness will turn to joy. Tears will turn to laughter. I hope everyone here could experience such miraculous works of God.
When I just entered the college, the world seems so dark and cold. I was exhausted and distressed by the world far from the one described in textbooks. I believe the world should be torn apart. I washed my hand many times until I feel they are clean enough. I was easily offended and absorbed in the words what others said to me. Then I began to change as I believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit came upon me and something inside of me changed. And for the first time in my life I truly confessed the world that God made is beautiful. God’s words in the bible, which seemed unsolvable codes before, began to make sense slowly. I could hear God’s voice to me and understand His words.
Friends, it is good to receive the Holy Spirit. It is glorious to be called by God because God loves us, because God is the creator of the earth and heaven.
Sound that Jesus doesn’t want to hear
Mark 1:23-26 records what happens right after Jesus began His public ministry. Jesus called His disciples, and spread good news about God’s kingdom and gospel. He met a man with impure spirit. A man with impure spirit said, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Even the impure spirit recognized who Jesus is. However, He didn’t praise him but told to be quiet. Jesus rebuked him coldly. “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” why did Jesus criticize him even though he recognizes Jesus? It is because he called Jesus not out of love, but of hatred. So recognition without love means only noise. That is why Jesus said to be quiet.
Names represent a whole person. Therefore we should be careful when we call someone by name. When we call out of love, it is sweet music to him/her. But when we call out of hatred, it is only noise. We can be meaningful only if we call out of love and recognition. Likewise, it is important to have someone to call. But it is more important what kind of mind we have when we call someone by name. Call your loved ones with love. As your names are precious, others’ names are precious to them. So be careful when you call someone. Names represent a whole person.
Call God’s name.
As we long for God’s calling, God also wants us to call His name. God’s name represents Himself, everything about Him. So calling God’s name means believing in everything about Him. It is the same principle. When we praise His name, we praise everything about Him. Also, it is important to have a right mind when calling God. We should call Him with loving heart as His child. Listen how a Psalmist praises God, Psalm 8:1, Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! We should be able to praise God like him. God is pleased when we call His name.
Jeremiah 33:2-3, “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Calling God’s name means we recognize God’s importance in our life.
So call out His name anytime. God is pleased. Call out His name in midst of suffering. He will comfort us. Call out His name in midst of joy. He will be pleased with us. Call out his name in midst of sadness. God will console us. Call out His name in midst of happiness. He will be happy with us.
God said, “Call to me” Call His name. Then God will do the work. Call to God. God is the creator of heaven and earth. He is almighty. He will protect our mind and will. Call to God. Then He will answer our prayer.
The name of God represents God Himself. The name of God is everything about God. So praising His name means praising everything about Him. So respect God’s name. Then our God will respect us. Amen!