Tuesday, June 22, 2004

U.S.: Father, the hour is nigh...

I watched Kim Sun-Il plead for his life and I sorrowed for him and his family. I heard on Fox News that he is a Christian preacher, amongst other things, though I don't know if he had been evangelizing in Iraq. So, while I grieved over what would befall him, part of me was angry because he wept and wailed on camera before the cowards who have him. But then, I began to think of his captors and their hatred of everybody unlike themselves, and that changed me from anger to prayer for Kim Sun Il.

I am inclined to think that the terror thugs could have demanded he cry and plead for his life -- you never know with these sickos -- in order to humiliate Kim Sun-Il, the Christian. It is possible they could have done that to have a propagandistic recruitment video comparing the Christian to the Muslim. No doubt, they would say, "we love death and they, weak and weeping Christians, embrace life and cannot meet death." If the terrorists prodded Kim Sun Il to beg for his life, then their intent would be to demonstrate that Christians are weak. It is not the first time that kidnappers have had captives say or do that with which they do not agree.

Whether or not he acted voluntarily or under duress, my soul is sorrowful for Kim Sun Il. Nevertheless, joy attends my sorrow. If Mr. Kim is released, I will rejoice; if he is slaughtered, I will still rejoice. Why? you ask. It is a matter of faith. It is a matter of the hope and assurance that we Christians have in Christ Jesus whose promises are ever faithful ever sure. When we are baptized into His death and resurrection, we become His; His promises become ours.

To Mr. Kim, I offer words from the writer of Hebrews: 'let us set aside the sin that so easily besets us and run with patience the race that is before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.'

And this, because it is possible that Mr. Kim is even now saying as did Paul: 'I have run the race; I have stayed the course, and I have kept the faith, and there is a crown laid up in glory for me.'

I also include this from Paul and Job, for Kim Sun Il could be comforting himself with these same words right now: 'For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain, for I know that my Redeemer liveth. For to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord.'

From John, the beloved disciple, these words of Christ are enough to stiffen the spine and strengthen the failing spirit of even the weakest Christian ... which is to say, all of us: 'I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.'

And, then there are those rousing words of defiance that spit in the eye of sin, death, hell, and the devil: 'come death, strike your blow, to my Savior I will go. Oh death, where is your sting; O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.'

In his last hours, Christ Jesus is all Mr. Kim has and all that he needs; for, it is for His sake that Kim Sun Il will most likely be martyred. Therefore, I offer him my own words of comfort to cheer him along what may be his final journey: 'whilst we live, we live unto Christ, and when we die, we go to Him. Live or die, Christ owns us; live or die, same thing. So, fear not, brother.'

May the peace of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus be with Kim Sun Il.

H'tip to BlackFive.


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