“A message you must hear” – Pastor Young Joo Lee

This week an elder living in New York sent me an email. He came to London in 2017 while on a business trip and visited our church, after which he watched our services on YouTube from time to time. He told me that through listening to recent sermons on the topic of Job and God’s grace, he was encouraged and said that it was God’s gift and thanked me.

In Christian author Philip Yancey’s famous book “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”, he writes that grace is what sets Christianity apart from all the other world religions. In practice, I feel how powerful the message of how God sent his son to die on the cross for our sins is every time I share this message when I go to evangelize on Saturdays. There are many religions in the world and the number of self-help books continues to increase and they all say “You must do well. If you do like this, you can do well.” These teachings may give courage and hope to those who are trying to make a change in their lives, but to those who, no matter how hard they try, have had many experiences of failure or to those who no longer have any will or confidence, they may bring nothing but a guilty conscience.

Even just looking at the people close to me, it is easy to find people who are having difficulty because they are trying to live solely by their own efforts. Leaving friends and family in Korea and coming to a foreign country to study or to work or to raise a family is terribly difficult. Just surviving is difficult enough but, on top of that, loneliness and the anxiety of not knowing what the future holds is also great. Additionally, when we were all poor and living in a less-developed society, there weren’t many people to compare ourselves to and not much to be stressed about. But now, with the advent of social media, there are so many people who seem to be well off whom we can be envious of and that makes us think “Who am I compared to them?” which can cause depression. I think that is why people living in high-income countries struggle more with depression than people in middle- and low-income countries. It is impossible for some people to survive the endlessly competitive and comparative society in which we live.

Therefore, it is no wonder that the message of the gospel: that the most perfect and powerful and beautiful God loves us and laid down his life for us, is so powerful. Because he knows how weak and lacking we are, how easily we mistakes, he didn’t toss us “The World’s Best Self Help Book” and give a moving speech but instead laid down his life for us. He understands us the best, will always take our side, and will help us in the way we need. The effect on our lives of the maker of the universe coming to die for us is obviously large.

So the message that you must continually hear at church is the message of God’s amazing grace. “The state that you are in right now is okay. You are always my precious, prized, and worthy of being loved, valued sons and daughters. Just come to me. I knew what you couldn’t do, so I came to die for you. I will help you so come be in a loving relationship with me. I am already loving you so open up your heart and will you come to me every day?” I want to be a pastor who shares God’s grace well.

예배시간 변경 안내(service time change)

  • 3월 3일(3월 첫 주만) 센트럴 주일예배가 영국교회 행사 관계로 오후 3시로 변경되었습니다. 윔블던 예배는 동일하게 오전 10시 30분 입니다.
  • Sunday’s service(3rd, Mar) of Central campus will be held at 3 p.m. due to an English Church event. Wimbledon campus’s service is the same as usual(10.30a.m.).