"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Amuzing Grace, How Sweet the Sound

Yesterday I took my teenager to OMF's Heart for Asia conference in Lancaster. There were speakers there who were serving in various Asian countries, but I was particularly encouraged (as was my son) by the Church in Japan. Japanese churches that we learned about were very small, with no western worries about "critical mass," and often meeting in restaurant booths and karioke bars. I was particularly charmed by this one:


At first I thought the name was "engrish"... the special sort of mangled English that is particularly indigenous to Asia. But as it turns out, the church is intentionally named, as they meet in a small recording studio. Music/Muse/Amuzing. Cool.

I shared that with the congregation this morning. I just couldn't resist the allure of the clever name (especially as it stands out in the seriousness of Japanese culture and of the current Japanese national trauma after the earthquake/tsunami). It just seemed fitting to me to share God's grace with a sense of humor and delight.

I'm attaching below my son's remarks about the Church in Japan:

Japan is truly a place that needs the Savior. Even though it is within the 10/40 window of Christianity, it is currently without Christ. While Christ is working its way into Japan, it still remains mostly in the dark about Him. Also, there is the matter of, well, matter. Compared to the US population of 310 million people, Japan has only 127 million, or only 41% of the population. On another note, the US has about 3.8 million square miles, while Japan owns only 146,000 square miles, or a little less than 4%. Now, I don’t know about you, but I see that the population percent chance is a lot bigger than the square mileage percent change. In the US, they calculate about 82 persons to a square mile. In Japan, there is over 10 times that, at 870 persons to a square mile. This winds up with buildings everywhere, people everywhere, and very little elbow room. However, Japan manages to be neat and organized. When people go to work, school, or most work-related events, they wear a uniform. In fact, some missionaries (which are the best source of Christ) sometimes stay so long, they start wearing uniforms. (It gets to the point where you can tell the new guy by the fact that he doesn’t wear a uniform.) The weekly attendance for a Japanese church is 36, and that means all kinds of Christians. There are some churches that are so small; their “building” is about the size of a US bathroom. But still, even with these people going out of their way to preach the gospel, the Japanese people are so confident, that if God grants the power to help them do something, they get cocky and say that “they did it with their own power.” Because of this, the biggest thing that you can pray for when you pray for Japan is spiritual awakening. Now I shall ask you to pray for Japan, that they will receive spiritual awakening. Thank you.

3 comments:

  1. Hey, turns out you gave my son a ride back from the conference and you read my blog, too! Greetings and blessings from a fellow deacon.

    Slane Hill

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  2. Oh hey! I just stumbled across your blog the other day, following links. You post great stuff! And always nice to meet a fellow deacon.

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