"I Am Coming Soon"
I am coming soon. (Rev. 22:12a)
These four words are the content of our hope. The One, who is for us, is coming soon. The One alongside us is coming soon. The One within us is arriving just now, too. The fullness of God is on its way to this very moment. I am grateful God attends to us with God’s peace.
Every moment holds both the ‘not fully yet’ and the ‘arrival just now’ of the resurrected Lord. I write today from one of these dreadful seasons when the people of Ukraine, the drought-stricken in East Africa, and the Covid-ravaged people of North Korea wait with hope for the transformation when: “I am coming soon.” Revelation was written amid some of the most brutal persecution of Christians ever known, and yet we have a DNA of hope.
I write from another ‘not yet’ on this Memorial Day weekend. Swords have not yet been beaten into plowshares. We have not yet experienced the transformation of Christ enough to alleviate insecurity, especially hunger. I know what it is to be in a land that picks up the pieces and tries to feed its people after a war has decimated its ranks. On my Days Apart in the districts I told how it was for me as a boy to be beside another boy who picked up a land mine on the seashore near the DMZ in Korea and suffered the full extent of its explosion. I think of such things in Ukraine when I see the news. War is a schoolmaster of deprivation that can harden hearts to the Other. We can be grateful for those whose sufferings protected us, and we can also have hearts that yearn for the full transformation of God’s shalom when Christ comes to wipe away every tear from our eyes. I thank God for this hope: “I am coming soon.”
The key to life is our response to challenge, and to claim God’s peace and presence as the character of our response. Peacemakers will be called children of God. Let’s practice here and now a Christ-centered unity and peace-making in our churches and families and among those God has given us to love.
Brick by brick, wisdom is the accumulation of a lifetime of experiences of responding to adversity. Those responses can leave us seeing our context through the lenses of loss and hopelessness, but we are people of tenacious hope. This weekend we remember well—and we hope for more because, “I am coming soon.”
Know that I am praying for you.
Hee-Soo Jung, PhD.
Bishop Wisconsin Conference UMC
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).