November 2020

Reflections on Sermon 82: “On Temptation”

I remember the story of a monk who went to see his superior (the abbot) with great excitement. He wanted to report on a recent spiritual breakthrough—he thought he was not facing temptations anymore. When the abbot heard of his new circumstance, the monk was surprised that the abbot did not express joy. Instead, he saw wrinkles forming in the pondering abbot’s forehead. So the monk asked, “Abbot, is there something wrong? Is it not a cause of celebration that I am no longer tempted by the devil?” Sighing, the abbot responded, “My son, I am afraid your current situation is dire.

Reflections on Sermon 41: “Wandering Thoughts”

It is easy to become distracted. You are happily listening to your pastor’s online sermon when your smartphone vibrates—a notification tells you that someone tagged you in a Facebook post. You open it, smile, then react with an emoticon. You saw something on someone else’s wall and you begin to scroll down. Forty minutes later, you are watching an “America’s Got Talent” episode of a guy eating swords. By this time, the sermon has already ended and you are left feeling guilty. This is an all too common situation people may experience in this technology age.

Reflections on Sermon 105: “On Conscience”

If I feel that I may have done something wrong, whether it is saying something hurtful to someone or commenting negatively on someone’s Facebook wall, I cannot sleep. No matter what I do, I just can’t sleep. Maybe this is me thinking too much or making a big deal over small things, but I have spent nights feeling uneasy, replaying in my mind what I did and speculating how the other party may have been hurt. The problem is that these convictions come to me when I lie down, which is mostly deep in the night, when everyone except me is already sleeping.