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12/26/2021 Look Up to God ~Rev. Bernie Chung

Katie C-Mo and I have lived in San Francisco for eight and a half years. I pass through Golden Gate Park every morning on my way to church. The scenery is full of lush greenery, birds and flowers. On a sunny day I spot the sun near treetops, rising from the east, and breath in fresh air. I greet every new day with praises in my heart. It is always joyful to return to my office to start my day’s work participating in God’s ministry.

Going home in the evening, I would be attracted by the beautiful sky and the sunset in the west. On a windy day, the waves of ocean are barely visible. On a good day when work has progressed twice as fast with half the effort, and the original goal accomplished and meets expectations, I would thank God for his wisdom and guidance. If the day did not go as well, I would remind myself to work harder tomorrow to overcome difficulties. As I watch the ray of the setting sun, God’s promise comes to my mind. I know the setting sun will rise again above the eastern horizon tomorrow. If God gives me one more day to live, I will sleep one more night and wake up tomorrow. I will thank and praise him again for keeping me safe overnight, and granting me the chance to witness the rising sun again. The waking hours allow me to contemplate more on God’s thoughts. God's thoughts are not the thoughts of bringing disasters, but the thoughts of giving peace so that we have eternal hope.

The psalmist wrote Psalm Forty-two to express his desire for God. The very first verse says: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God." Even though he yearned for God, he was not able to go to the temple of God to worship him. That was his greatest regret. However, the end of Psalm 42 says: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:11 KJVAE). The original text of “the heath of my countenance” means “my salvation and help”.

Brothers and sisters, Christmas has passed and 2022 will be here. The year 2021 calls for deep reflections. The new coronavirus has disrupted our life immensely. Many of us are stressed and become irritable with the situation. However, unanticipated crises also bring opportunities and constructive changes. We are able to use video conferencing and YouTube broadcasts to bring and Sunday School and Worship Services to our brothers and sisters at home while providing in-person ministries. Looking back there were triumphs and deficiencies, but we give thanks and praises to God in all circumstances. We should look up to God our Redeemer and praise him for our salvation. We shall proclaim He is our God because of His faithfulness. And In faith we shall place our trust in Him. May 2022 be another year when we deeply experience the presence of God, Amen!

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