THE VALUE AND STANDARDS CHANGED AFTER STARTING A FAITHFUL LIFE

<Going to Church in the First Century>, <A Day in the Life of an Early Christian: A Personal Record> by Robert Banks

Saying good bye to 2018 and hello to 2019, I looked back if my daily life is good enough for God. I have found these two books while the things I decided to do but couldn’t make me feel guilty.

I picked up these books with anticipation of getting challenged through the piety of early churches. My hope, in which I would try to settle the rush that made me obligated too much, collapsed and God’s questions which are different from mine came to my mind.

Publius, an alien living in Philippi, shares his experience of attending the gathering of people who followed the new Way during his visiting Rome. And that’s the story of <Going to Church in the First Century>. It is very fresh thing that exchanging greetings is the beginning part of their worship. These people aren’t tied down to religious acts and forms unlike other people who worship other gods. They find the actual awareness of God and true religious practices in comfortable meal times and fellowship.

It is very shocking to see that all walks of life, such as masters and servants, adults and kids, men and women, sitting and eating together without distinction of age, sex, or status unlike general customs in those days. Their behavior, in which they act like invisible God is with them, is strange but makes Publius think that he might come to the next gathering again.

<A Day in the Life of an Early Christian: A Personal Record> is the story that a few years later Publius, who has become a Christian, introduces his ordinary daily life to explain his changes after following the new Way. He shows his change through values and standards forming his days not through a groundbreaking testimony. That is what true change is. He deals mealtime, attire, child-care, marriage life, work life, distinction from people in the world as a Christian, etc. through his daily life. This book contains worries that a changed being has when he or she live with people who have different values.

OUR LIVES ARE TRUE WORSHIPS OF REMEMBERING THE LORD’S SUPPER

Both of the books don’t give us clear answers to small troubles in our life and don’t tell us how we should act as Christians. What the author really wants to say is one thing: Our whole life is the true worship of remembering the Lord’s Supper and His life in front of God. These two books plainly ask us if our faith really affects on every part of our lives.

I stood in front of God’s question whether the much-used sentence that life is worship is real for me. He wasn’t asking me if I did my best in my duty, was be loyal to church life, or had enough time for prayers and reading the Bible or not.

Do I worship Him while looking into my phone, preparing meals, waking up my children, or talking with friends on the phone? Do I exist as a worshipper on the bus, in the dumping ground, in the parking lot, at the market, or in medical clinics? Do I put the satisfaction of a day on how hard I have worked or whether I have enough time to pray and meditate on God’s words? Will God evaluate my day based on the same standard as mine? A lot of times in my entire life came to my mind when I thought like ‘God, I did do my best at the worship a minute ago, so please leave me alone. I need my privacy too.’ I shivered.

I can’t help but admit myself who has reacted more to visible things than to God, and hidden the deception under religious zeal and acts, and been satisfied with it. God did me a great favor. He broke my blindness and revealed my terrible state to me who had not felt guilty about not living a true Christian’s life even though I knew how to do so and agreed on the lesson. Turning every moment of a day into worships, or combining faith and life may not be another duty or burden. That is the thirst and untakeawayable joy only a true Christian, who cannot forget the Lord for a flash, can enjoy. [gnpnews]

Missionary Gui-young Lee

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