Oh yeah, this one occurred to me a few years ago but I was reminded by a particularly muddle-headed sermon recently: (Any sermon which contends that God chose the Jewish people as His own Special Chosen People to work with for a few thousand years, just so that He could cynically use them to demonstrate to the rest of the world that they completely let Him down, and therefore they should all go to Hell for being unable to keep his utterly impossible Law, is going to end up in a big bucket of Fail as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, such a view is not so much widespread as omnipresent.)
I’m finding myself getting very busy and very tired these days; I have a lot of things I want to write about but I’m finding it hard to catch up. This entry has been sitting in my editor window for four days. Let’s see if I can finish it today…
Saturday was fantastic. I mean, fantastic. In the morning we headed into Kyoto’s Tofukuji, to join a meeting of a Kyoto deaf church. Henrietta and I both independently had an interest in deaf evangelism for a while now, and we’ve both come across more deaf people in the past year than one would expect. H took a course in sign language while she was at university; I always wanted to but never got to it. And last week, at the house church conference, we met an American couple who are working as evangelists to the deaf here in Japan, and they gave us an introduction to a church in Kyoto, and volunteered kindly to interpret for us. Read more about Say what?
This weekend I've been at the first Japanese House Church Conference. It was quite an amazing and enjoyable event; I felt spiritually refreshed and privileged to be there. It was great to hear many stories from people around Japan who are seeing God do fantastic things through the house churches, to hear the problems they're facing and what they're doing about it.
The usual warning: this may be more honest than people expect.
That title works so much better in Japanese. (How long have I waited to say that?!)
Today I went to a Buddhist funeral. I wasn't intending to go to a Buddhist funeral this week. In fact, it's not been a great week for our churches, as we lost two treasured members.
It's been - and still is - a busy month. Much to report and not much time to report it. Meanwhile, I've been doing some research, and I've put together what I think is the best and fullest timeline of Vories' life and mission (5M PDF) available.
There are some things I like about this country, and some things I don't like.
From God's Plan For Children, by Dave Roberts, here are some really good questions.
Today I went with a few people from my church to visit an exhibition of William Merrell Vories’ life and work. I’d actually been to the exhibition before, but I wanted to see it a second time. To be honest, I’ve developed quite an interest in Vories. Some would say an unhealthy interest. But I think it’s an important interest. Read more about We are a voice, a voice crying at the lakeside