One Sows and Another Reaps

Author:  Pastor  HwapYoung Kang
Scriptures: Hebrews 11:1-2, John 4:31-38
Date:  July 8th, 2018

What made me come to here?

Let us do a short survey!
What made you come to here, Gilroy UMC?
Who or What brought you here? Your family, parents, spouse? Your Kid? Your friend? Your neighbor? Pastor? Good Memory? The Holy Spirit? Some awesome ministries? Yourself? Or any other answers?

Let me share what or who brought me here.

When I was a little boy, I thought that my own faith brought me to the church. Even though I was born in Christian family, I thought that way. I myself decided to go to church and enjoy bible and church life. Yes, it is true. But it is a half truth.

I would like to share the other half truth. I am a Korean. Long time ago, my ancestors cannot hear the Good News. Someone need to come to spread the Good News. When I was a college student, I took Korean Church History class. My college was a mission 
school, established by a Presbyterian and a Methodist missionary together. In Korean
Church History class, there was a field trip to one cemetery, YangHwaJin Foreign Missionary Cemetery, which is located near Seoul, the capital city of Korea. You know what?! SOO many Foreign Missionaries wanted to be buried in Korea, and they were buried in Korea. They came to Korea to spread the Good News around late 19th century, for example, 1832, 1866, 1884, 1885. I want to remember some of their names and inscriptions on the tombstone.
  • “If I had a thousand lives to give, Korea should have them all.”
– Rubye Rachel Kendrick (1883 – 1908)
  • “I would rather be buried in Korea than in Westminster abbey”
– Homer B. Hulbert (1863-1949)
  • “Till He Comes“ – Lillian Anderson (1917-1934)

Even though they do not see me, I am here to continue their missionary work.  I am just humble and thankful, in front of them and their love and faith. They have the faith, the faith in today’s scripture reading. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” “By faith, they received approval.” I am definitely
one of many fruit from their love and passion. They plant, and I just reap my faith. I am joyful to be here, and they would rejoice from where they are. “The planter and the reaper rejoice together.”

What made you come to Gilroy UMC?

My faith journey and my joy is not by myself alone. My faith journey started from the seed that foreign missionary planted. How about you?
How about your faith journey?
How about your spiritual life?
How about Gilroy UMC?
When I learned about Gilroy UMC, I was so surprised at the history. Do you know how old Gilroy UMC is? Gilroy UMC is 165 years old. 165 years old. Almost similar to Korean Church history… Founding church members planted us, even if we have never met them. We are the beneficiaries of what they planted. Because of their faith and labor, we are here. Without them, we cannot be here today. The founding church members plant, and we are their fruit. We are not alone. We are joyful with them together here.

Now… it is our turn to plant.

Thanks to the founding church members, we are here. But I do not want to stay here. I do not want to stop now. I do not want to just be a fruit. I do not want to escape. What I want is to go into the soil to bear another fruit. What I want is to come out of my comfort zone and go beyond these walls. It is not easy. It should be very challenging. It needs a lot of labor. There will be a rock. There will be a bird. There will be thorns. But there cannot stop us, because we have a faith in our hearts, like our ancestors had, like foreign missionary had, and like our founding church members had.  I hope and pray that I stand here again on the 200th birthday of Gilroy UMC. It will be in 2053. As a retired pastor, I want to be invited to celebrate 200th years birthday. There I will remember all of you, one by one. And I will rejoice not only as a reaper, but also as a planter, not only a fruit, but also a seed.
Can we be a planter and a seed? Can we?

Closing Prayer

Let us pray!
We are so thankful for our ancestors, foreign missionaries, and founding church
members. They planted us with faith! We are their joyful fruit. Now it is our turn. It is our turn to plant. It is our turn to be a seed. We are here for you, Lord!  Please use us for this church and Gilroy community!
In Jesus’ name we pray.