On Sunday, Peter gave the message at a church in South Osaka, which is a little over an hour by car from our home. The requested theme was “Love”, an incredibly broad topic, yet apropos for the Sunday before Valentine’s Day.
Peter started the messge by reflecting on how love is defined in media, then moved on to how it is defined in 1 Cor. 13:4-8. Then he made (or an attempted to make) the move from a cognitive understanding of the 1 Cor passage to a heart-level understanding of how much we are loved by God. The focus was on how the Bible is a love letter from God to us, and we see the manifestation of love in his actions toward us. Actions both recorded in the Bible and experienced in our everyday lives.
Peter says, “I am a horrible judge of how sermons go over, especially because I give them in Japanese. I never feel too great afterward and I am my harshest critic. Yet, the response from church members was good, and this is the fourth time they have invited me to preach.”
This is another one of Japan’s larger churches, and their pastor has great vision for the future. Peter took the picture below from the pulpit at the second service, both to remember to pray for the church and to share with you.