If you haven’t read the “Part 1” of this blog, that’s the one last week read that because now I want everyone to put on their theological hats. Let’s take this story of a parent teacher conference as a metaphor about God’s relationship with the clergy and the people.
If I were to assign anyone characters in this metaphor of a parent teacher conference it would be simply that God is the teacher, the parents are the clergy, and the children are the people. Now, I do want to clarify that by no means is this about hierarchy, ability, or power. What I want to clarify is that being clergy, or the people does not make one better than the other, however, the roles of such are different.
But I do sometimes imagine that as a clergy we are somewhat responsible with how the people behave. We are not necessarily considered a model of morals or ethics, but more that what we study, what we preach, and what we command is about the importance of repentance, the power of forgiveness, the importance of living well, and the necessity of loving others and knowing that you are loved. From a clergy standpoint, if we do these things well, then the people will do well and the world will be all good, right?
Well, no. And who even says that every clergy/pastor, even does all these things perfectly. Afterall, the clergy/pastors are the people too! But I can only imagine what that heavenly parent teacher conference may look like, if it would even happen.
I assume God as the teacher, looking at the clergy aka. parents are probably saying some (hopefully) encouraging things and then lay it on heavy of what the children aka. the people are struggling with and whether a change of behavior is needed.
When Eunkyung and I were meeting Norah’s teacher, Norah was super chill, just went to grab a book and started reading. Ben however was bouncing off the walls. Even at one point he climbed the teacher’s desk and just stood on top of it. Two kids raised the same, but totally different behaviors.
Now, if God was the teacher, and the clergy were the parents, and the people were the children, I can only imagine, that only a similar outcome would occur! One person would be polite, reading a book, understanding the context of location and behave accordingly, while another person would be bouncing off the walls, climbing on the Tree of Good and Evil, eating the forbidden fruit, taking multiple bites. Even though the pastor says the same thing to everyone, but the results can vary. While the clergy are sitting in front of God just sweating!
It honestly, just funny to think about. I do not think that God would be judgmental at all, but I can see God going over to the troubled and misbehaved and sit them in their lap and whisper words of kindness of love. I can imagine that God would tell the well-behaved child to keep going and continue to do good work. And God telling the clergy, that you can’t expect to be perfect, and you can’t expect people to be perfect as well. God would remind each clergy the simple rule that we often times forget. That is, “Remember, you are called to serve; you are called to love.” Love to well behaved and the not so well behaved the same. Love the ones that show you respect and love the ones that scream at you all day.
When it comes with anything, whether you are a teacher, clergy, a person that has a position of leadership or authority, a child, or parent, we must realize that there are so many factors involved in how people respond to the message we give them. Not one person is the same, it's like we are all snowflakes, individuals, different, but all clumping together on this earth. So, never get upset or feel like a failure in your expectations of people around you. Like what I was told as a clergy, you are called to love. Not to serve, not to teach, not to act authoritative, not to expect a certain result, you are called to love.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).