Three Cents Column by Director Bong of RGO 24! 'Although I am lacking and my writing is only worth as much as 'three cents...' I share the Sunday messages and interpret them with 'the language of the world.''
Origin of Alpha(α)
Alpha(α) is an ancient Greek letter and the origin of the letter ‘A’ in the English alphabet.
The reason it has been frequently used to mean the ‘start’ or ‘beginning’ of an event, could perhaps be because it is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. There is actually a separate word in Greek for ‘beginning’ and ‘origin’: arche. ‘Arche’ was used by ancient natural philosophers of Ionia to describe the basic element in the formation of everything in the Universe, in other words, the origin of all creation. According to the book of Genesis in the Old Testament Bible, the ‘arche’ of this world was a state without a form. (Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was ‘formless’ and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…) God, Who saw such formlessness, emptiness, and darkness, created ‘light’ before anything else in order to satisfy God's need and thereby ‘started’ the great work of Creation. The Creator, Who began with ‘light’ and ultimately completed today’s great Universe, is certainly the core of ‘Alpha’ and ‘arche.’ Just as He said, “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be,” the ‘beginning’ with God is, in and of itself, the starting point of ‘prosperity.’
‘Leaving’, from God’s perspective
“Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.”
‘Abraham’ is the ancestor of faith who marks the beginning of the biblical history of faith. Abraham’s biography begins with God commanding him, “Leave.” The ‘country, people, and father’s household which Abraham had to leave allude to a ‘territorial community and commnuinty of blood relations.’ At that time, the most basic needs for survival, such as ‘water,’ ‘pasture,’ and ‘personal safety,’ were mutually supplied through the community. Considering these circumstances, we can see that leaving the ‘territorial community and community of blood relations’ was a serious event that would threaten his survival. Leaving the community was almost certainly similar to voluntarily discarding his most basic safeguard. In other words, ‘leaving’ was no different from ‘dying.’
However, from God’s perspective, ‘leaving’ is the core condition for being able to ‘start’ the ‘new history,’ and it is the starting point of blessing. The great biblical heroes who pioneered new ‘settlements’ and allowed new histories to begin had one quality in common. It was their ‘courage,’ [which allowed them] to cross over the ‘Sungwhangdang Hill, their homeland,’ upon the foundation of their reliance, trust, and love for God. It was courage. It was the courage to say goodbye to everything familiar and to thoroughly deny themselves. It was also the ‘wisdom’ of knowing God’s blessing beforehand, which would come through the act of ‘leaving.’ It was the ‘wisdom’ of transcendentally knowing the amazing grace and blessings (I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great … Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.) that were to come ‘when they left’ their warm havens, following only God’s Will. It was the conviction that abandoning and leaving would never result in loss, but would bring greater gains. A person who possesses such ‘love’ for God, ‘courage’ to leave, and ‘wisdom’ is the key person who can open the ‘history.’
Translator’s note: sungwhangdang is altar to the tutelary gods of a neighborhood. At the top of this hill, there was a sungwhangdang, so it is named “Sungwhangdang Hill.”
The ‘start’ of Providence history and ‘leaving’ the former faith
The dawn of Providence history also occurred at a chaotic time, when preexisting values and religious roles were not sufficient to lead the ‘time period.’ Just like the Creator’s work of creating Heaven and Earth, Providence history started with ‘light’ in the very beginning. In other words, God gave the ‘new Word of the new time period.’ From our standpoint, ‘beginning’ Providence history and ‘leaving’ the former faith was like leaving the homeland (death). From the standpoint of the former faith, it was most likely a moment when concerns and doubts about ‘unfamiliar things’ first began to arise.
Being fully aware of the difficulties and pain that would come with ‘beginning’ and ‘leaving,’ God found a boy who would not succumb to any difficulties, but would take the initiative of loving God. It was to him whom God taught the Word. Then God gave him love, courage, and wisdom, and when the time came, He had him go out to the world and preach with the ‘light’ that would brighten the time period.
Ever since that boy was young, he had crossed over the ‘Sungwhangdang Hill’ countless times.
On that spring day in 1978, when he had to cross over the path of Sungwhangdang toward Seoul, his heart perhaps felt completely new and different from the times when he crossed the path in the past. Today, with that [new and different] ‘heart,’ we should look carefully to see what it is that we must ‘begin,’ and we should look carefully to discover the hometown, people, and father’s household that we must ‘leave.’ A new act of ‘beginning’ and ‘leaving’ which embraces the ‘core’ will become the most important ‘seed’ within us in regards to ‘completing’ the new history. Engraving this deeply in our hearts will be the value in receiving ‘Alpha Day.’