This past four-day weekend, our faith family had the privilege of hearing Peter Tsukahira share God’s Word with us. As a citizen of Israel and shepherd of a Messianic fellowship, his understanding of the scriptures in light of Jewish land and Jewish culture allows for him to unfold the stories of the Bible with distinct clarity and deep perception.
Peter is in the process of writing his third book. It will be available in September (I will give you the details as soon as it becomes accessible). In his book, entitled, Culture of the Kingdom – A Journey of Restoration, he writes of his journey to faith.
His pilgrimage has a father element in it. He writes:
One day, while reading the gospel of John, I came to the part in chapter ten where Jesus is proclaiming the source of his authority to his legalistic, religious adversaries. Finally, He says to them, “I and the Father are one.” At the moment I read those six words it was as if a hole opened up in the page and I was looking into Jesus’ life. All at once I knew that He knew me and every other man on the face of the earth. He knew that our issues are always with our fathers. He knew my father was a good man who loved me but wasn’t emotionally equipped to express it very well. My father gave me materially everything that he possibly could but retreated from offering his deepest feelings. I struggled with the distance I felt and later just came to accept it as a fact of life.
But deep inside I was angry. As a child in the Episcopalian church I had been taught that God was a lot like my father. Good, but distant – not connected to the realities of my personal life. Over the years I became at first scornful and then indignant at the idea of God, our Creator and Supreme Authority being distant and unapproachable. Especially after my friend’s death, I thought, “If God is somewhere far away, busy with his own divine things, why am I supposed to honor and worship Him? I am down here on earth struggling with complicated and ugly human issues. Where’s the connection?
As an Asian American, my soul resonated with what Peter wrote. We are also contemporaries so we share the same experience in many ways. But these two paragraphs about his earthly father seem to reflect every Asian American’s story to some degree. And, I believe, it does influence how we see our Heavenly Father.
Where does this lead? I will share the rest of his story in the next blog.
Until then, it’s something to think about...