Sermons

Summary: Human beings of all culture and races throughout history tried to figure out how to know what we want to know.

John 16:12-15

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Recently I went with my father to an oncologist at the Hackensack University Hospital, to find out the reason for my father’s prolong anemia. Several doctors have previously tried to diagnose it but couldn’t find out the reason for his low white blood cell count. The concern was that being low in white blood cell count is usually a sign of leukemia, or blood cancer.

This time Dr. Pascal, the director of the oncology unit, gave him a series of test and he still couldn’t find the cause. So he scheduled my father for a bone marrow test. We went there on the scheduled day and I watched Dr. Pascal drilled my father’s spine in order to extract some bone marrow samples. The doctor and nurse asked me to turn my head away worrying that I might faint. But, I peeked over anyway. I had to be in the room to translate for my father. After they took several samples of his bone marrows from different depths of his spine, the nurse labeled them and sent them out for biopsy. Dr. Pascal said that he would call us the next week to tell us the result, and that if he didn’t call us, we should call him.

He didn’t call us so I called him and left a message to remind him that we need to know the result. A couple of days later he called my father and made an appointment for him to come in. We became worried because I thought he must have found something serious that he didn’t want to tell us on the phone and wanted to talk to us face to face.

We went in and he told us the result. The good news was that he didn’t have leukemia. The bad news was that they didn’t have a clue why the white blood cell count was so low. So the doctor called us in to give him a Procrit shot to try to increase his red blood cell count to boost his energy. The doctor said he would just leave the white blood cell problem alone for the time being because he couldn’t fine the cause and there was no medicine to boost white blood cell count.

Some of you might know Dr. Pascal, that he is among the best of the best in the country when it comes to oncology. If he doesn’t know, there is very unlikely that we will find someone that knows better.

That makes me think of our historic human problem. There are so many things that we don’t know among all the things that we want to know. With the explosion of knowledge and science today, sometimes we assume that we have left no stone unturned and few things we don’t know. In fact, all the top scientists today acknowledge that the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know.

One of the major human frustrations is that we don’t know everything and yet we desire to know everything, at least everything that we need to know, such as our future, or our children’s future. Human beings of all culture and races throughout history tried to figure out how to know what we want to know.

There is a religion that was built entirely on wanting to know everything. It’s called Buddhism. The goal of a Buddhist is to be enlightened, which meaning to gain the wisdom of all-knowing. If you go to Southeast Asia, you will see thousands and thousands of pagodas in many places. Some of them are as old as the first century. In Burma, there is a city called Pagan that used to have more than 13,000 pagodas, and today there are about 2000 left. 2000 is still a lot for a city of 25 square miles.

You might asked, “Why were those pagodas built.” They were mostly built by the rich people in the ancient time, some of them were kings, princes, and princesses. The purpose was mainly to serve as a monument for prayer. The person who built the pagoda would usually through a big feeding party for the poor and invite everyone in town to come to eat. Feeding the poor is regarded as a good deed and they hope that their good deeds would bring good karma, or good fortune. After they fed the poor, they would pray a prayer and many of those prayers were carved on stone tablets.

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