One of the things I’ve really enjoyed during my second term in Japan is preaching in Japanese. After two years in language school, countless hours with tutors and six proficiency tests, I started preaching in Japanese, the pastor at our church plant has been kind enough to let me fill in when he’s out of town, which often means in Tokyo for a denominational meeting of some kind. It’s pretty helpful for the church as well. While there are many churches in Japan’s metropolises (Tokyo/Nagoya/Osaka) with multiple missionaries able to fill-in on a sunday morning, here in Iwate it’s pretty rare, and that’s one of the reasons we feel this is the right place for us. Four messages so far this year, and I’m gearing up for one more later this month!
Right before the message each week we sing this song called ‘Hallelujah’, not the Leonard Cohen one, the words are simply Alleluia x 8, and we sing it twice, so it becomes Alleluia x 16. I got this new commentary on the Psalms which was written by one of my college professors (Awake Oh Harp!, by Dr. William Varner if you are interested), and chose to do a message on Psalm 113, it begins in Hebrew with ‘Alleluia!’ so that’s what I titled my message.