Second Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: John 12:24
“I tell you the truth. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
After three years of ministry some two thousand years ago, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. He was welcomed with praises, “Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Surprisingly, not long he was trialed, convicted, and nailed to the cross. But he rose from the dead as saviour.
From November 2004 to April 2005, I visited Taipei on a business trip for six months. During the first month I went from church to church. Rev. Dr. Jooseop Keum visited Taipei form the London CWM office and introduced me to a small church. On my first Sunday service the brothers and sisters welcomed me with warm hearts and hands. The hymns were so beautifully sung by a very small choir. The church makes me feel at home and I love everything about it.
This church used to belong to a political leader of the democratic party. It was in this house that assailants murdered his mother and two daughters. As a result of this atrocity and payment for blood shed the Gikong church was established on the same home.
The political situation in Taiwan mirrored a similar experience I has during the democratic movement as an undergraduate in the 1980s in Korea. The Spring of 2005 my business travel came to an end. But I will always remember the sad history of the Gikong church. Like Jesus’ resurrection we adore the presence of God in the Gikong church during every Easter.
When back home and reflecting on my TIM experience, I introduced Gikong to my home church. Ow, for seventeen years the two churches have developed a sister-like relationship with each other. Next April, I plan to visit Gikong church. Due to COVID-19 I cancelled my travels. However, indebted to CWM’s invitation to join the struggle and pain of the Gikong church, I will surely visit again.
-Deacon Byunghee Jang, The Presbyterian Church of Korea
Jesus my Lord, you suffered pain on the cross. You shed your blood to revive the life in me. Like the sacrifice of a family in Taipei forty years ago, you built your church and made us witnesses to our neigbhours over and over again. Oh Lord, redeem and save us. Take us by the hand and lead us. There are many Gikong-like churches around the world – have mercy and bestow your favour upon them, and let the history of your resurrection spread everywhere. Amen.