Creating Space for God

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove your evil deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do good; seek justice; rescue the oppressed; defend the orphan; plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:16-17 

Dear members and friends,

These days I often wonder whether I am actually living in a world that is more advanced than anytime in the past. What is believed is that we are living in a world where most information is accessible to most people, and education also is readily available to most people. Yet, I am watching many people at a variety of places who seem to have no interest in learning what is available. Instead, many people seem to make up their minds based on either what appeals to their unlearned minds or what appears to be beneficial to them. In a way, this practice makes sense, because human minds are known to be innately self-centered or selfish. 

Learning is often considered the way to gain information, knowledge, training, or all three for a career or job these days. But according to Confucius, who emphasized learning as the most important thing for humans, the true purpose of learning is to gain proper understanding of what is in one’s mind, and thus train or cultivate one’s mind properly. This was important to Confucius because innately a human mind might often not be interested in finding and embodying the true purpose of their existence on earth. That is, to imitate the way of Heaven, which is nothing but to be just and benevolent. A similar voice is echoed in Isaiah where God cries out to the people of Israel that what God truly wants from humans is nothing but living a life of caring for each other and treating each other fairly and justly. However, just as Confucius in the East emphasized, this voice of God is not heard by the minds that are preoccupied with their own agendas or selfish desires. That is why in Isaiah 1:16, God shouts out to the people saying, “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove your evil deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil.” There is some work that must be done before we can “learn to do good.” 

My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a moment and enter a deep prayer. Let us do our best to empty our ego from being the center of our minds. Thus, let us create a space for our God within our minds. 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee