“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (I Corinthians 13:12)
You are cordially invited to join me on a breathtaking adventure. It will be to a place that we have never been before. I cannot guarantee safety or comfort. In fact, I am absolutely sure that some will not enjoy this adventure at all. It demands risk. It demands courage. It demands humility and surrender. I am inviting you to join me in the present moment – right here, right now, in the world that IS, rather than in the world as we think it is or should be.
What is the difference between the world that IS, and all the worlds that we make up in our minds and hearts? Well, this world is neither good nor bad, and people are not good or evil. What is, simply IS – just as God created it. We strip away our filters and lenses, and look at the world through new eyes, eyes unclouded by prejudice or predispositions, eyes open to new possibilities and to the very mind of Christ.
The false world, the world of our own creation, is a world of fear and anxiety and phony certainty pretending to be faith. The false view of our world looks for what is wrong, what is dirty, what is foul, what is corrupt. This false view is not from God. It is what we see in the mirror, dimly. It is a denial of all things Godly. It is our giving more power to the darkness than we give to the light. It happens when people think that the devil is more powerful than God.
We are living in a time when people are not very kind to others. There is despair and anger and hopelessness. This comes when we look through old, tired eyes. But we, people of faith in Jesus Christ, do not – cannot – look through old, tired eyes any longer. We walk by faith, not by sight. We know that there is a truth greater than what we perceive through our old eyes.
Where others see oppression, let us see the possibility of freedom. Where others see destruction, let us see the truth of renewal and resurrection. Where others see corruption and greed, let us see the fertile soil for redemption and justice. There is nothing wrong in the world that cannot be fixed, for nothing is greater than the power of God’s transforming Holy Spirit.
But let us not fool ourselves. Simply seeing what God intends is not enough. New eyes that reveal new potential and new opportunity open us to a new reality that God will unfold through the gifts and passions of faithful people. Who are these faithful people, you ask? You and me.
From this day forward, I invite you to view this world through the very eyes of Christ. See the good. See the beauty. See the truth of God’s blessed creation. And where you do not see it, work to make it so. Our God is a BIG GOD. Our faith must be a BIG FAITH. No more petty squabbles. No wasting time looking for things to be upset about. We have an enormous job to do. We need to help others see God’s vision for a transformed world; and there is simply no time to waste.
Take time, brothers and sisters, to pray deeply for new eyes. Ask God to grant you wisdom, the wisdom that heals and unites and empowers and creates. Seek first the true realm of God, on earth as it is in heaven, and be amazed at all you will see.
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).