Thursday, November 25, 2010

Coming up THIS SUNDAY!

First week of Advent.

Come and find out what this is all about!
エレミヤ書 / 33章 14節16節
10:30 AM Worship Time.
Come and Worship the King!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Please read: Mark 5:21-22, 35-43

After calming the storm at sea, after setting the demon filled man free, Jesus returned BACK to the other side of the sea to find many there waiting for Him. And in the crowd came a man who was well known in that area. He was the head of the Synagogue named Jairus. He came with a problem. His little girl was sick…very sick. To the point to death. Not dead yet, but he reasoned that IF Jesus could touch her, she’d live. The illness would leave her IF Jesus would come and touch his little girl.

Would that not move your heart? A man, on his knees in front of you, pleading for the life of his child? Who would not be moved? Jesus was so moved. He went with him.

Guess how Jairus felt? Would he not be the happiest man in Israel? Would not his heart be pounding fast and hard? Would he not be so excited that 1.) He found Jesus and 2.) That Jesus would come to his house and touch his little girl and have her live.

Why was he not with his little girl? He was not at home. He was out on the town—he was looking for Jesus.

Are you looking for Jesus? Are you looking for Him to touch a situation in your life? You would consider it a success if you’d find Him, is that not so? And that once you found Him, that He would go with you to touch whatever it is that concerns you. I would imagine that Jairus would be pushing people out of the way to move Jesus along faster!

But then, something happens that stops Jesus. We will look at the interruption another time. (Plain and simple, a woman with a bleeding problem touches Jesus.) But there has been an interruption. Do you like interruptions? Do you feel good when someone interrupts you in a conversation—never mind in a life and death situation like this? It must have really shaken the father up! Consider how you would feel? Put yourself in his sandals. Nothing stands in the way when it comes to the safety of Family. And here we have Jesus, dealing with two situations without missing a beat.

And as Jesus deals with this second matter, the interruption, word comes back to the father that his little girl had indeed died. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”

Bother? These people really did not know Whom they were standing with in that crowd. He caused the sea to be calm. The winds to be still. A man filled with demons to be set free and now this… bothersome event? Not so for Jesus.

We know from the Word of God that He cares for us. Even when we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, He is with us. Even when 500 high priest of Baal have a contest to see who’s god is bigger. Even when persecution comes, He is still with us. He will never leave us. His promise to His Children holds.

Are you His child? Are you in this promised relationship with Him? This Covenant of Promise! Sealed with the Blood from His own Body!

We are living in a world with dead people walking. There are many movies out today that take this theme. Call them zombies. Call them the Living Dead! Few of these movies are based on real truth but on fear of dead people. There is a phobia of the dead. It is called NECROPHOBIA. Some people really get freaked out when this topic comes up. But yet it is all around us and sometimes, it touches us. Fear really could drive a person to deep anxiety: BIBLIOPHOBIA=fear of books. DENTOPHOBIA= fear of dentist. ECOPHOBIA=fear of home. LEUKOPHOBIA=fear of the color white. OCTOPHOBIA=fear of the figure 8.

My friend, Yu Shibuya, Ami’s brother, spoke at CAJ’s chapel this past week. He spoke about how dead people look on trains. And it is true. When you sit there on the train next time, look around and you will see the living dead. People who have given up on really living. Doing things they don’t really like. Being involved with work that they dislike. In broken relationships that they want to end but can’t. Living dead people. Kind a strange when you think about it but it is Biblical.

With out the Spirit of God in the person, he or she is spiritually dead. Separated from God. Much like this little girl. No life in her. Jesus called it sleep, but the people realized that she was indeed dead to them. Parents were destroyed. Mom had already hired mourners to cry and weep loudly to show how sad the situation was.

I have been to funerals here in Japan and in the US. I have been to non-believer’s funerals and I have been to believer’s funerals. One had no hope. No life. No promise. The other had Hope. Had life. Had promise. Why? Because Jesus showed up. He came into the dead person—while he/she was still the living dead and gave real life to them. For the first time in their existence in this good earth, they really breathed the life giving air of eternal salvation. Given to them when they believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He had died for them—taking their sins away.

And Jesus overheard or ignored what they said and told the father, “Don’t be afraid; just believe”. Now the father is going on a most exciting ride of his life! He is going to see the Power of God in his own house…in his own little daughter.

Jesus takes His small band of followers AND the parents into the room where the little girl was laid out. There would be a soft white cloth over her body. Basins of water and towels are near by for the ladies to wash her ever-cooling body—preparing her for the tomb.

He asked “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at Him.

His response was this: “Get out of My way. Everyone, out of the room! Except for the parents and the disciples who were with Me.” He took the little girls cold hand and said to her… “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” The response was immediate. She stood up and began to walk around the room. This 12-year-old girl was now living. No longer a living Dead but alive in the presence of the One who is Life, Jesus, the Christ.

He told them to keep this secret and to give her something to eat. After such an experience, she’d be hungry and they could feed her again and love her again and enjoy their little girl AGAIN. The could be Family, once again!

The Living Dead lives—in Jesus. When I go into a train station like Shinjuku, I HAVE to stand still for a few seconds—on the side—to see the many people rushing this way and that. (Sheep without a Shepard, really.) I think to myself, “It is possible that I am the ONLY one in this crowd that has eternal life! I may be the only one—who is really alive here!” Not arrogant. I know the Truth.

What to do with this Living Dead?

  • We could just cover it up. That is one response.
  • We could cover our eyes and not look at them. We would then walk into walls and hurt ourselves.
  • We could tell ourselves that they do not exist.
  • We could tell ourselves that it was their choice and not our problem.
  • We could tell ourselves that we need to tell them about the One who can touch the living dead and give living life.

We could tell them about Jesus. We could go after Him ourselves and seek Him with all our hearts. We could go to Him in the privacy of our hearts RIGHT now and ask Him to touch our living dead hearts. Did you know that He promised to replace the dead cold stone-like heart with one that reflects His Joy and meaning?

All because a father wanted Jesus to come and touch his little girl-the one who is very sick—and look what happened? A living dead girl became part of the living again when Jesus came into the picture—came into her life.

He can come into your picture as well. During this time of Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that He did come to earth to walk among us and teach us how to believe in Him. How to put our trust in Him. How to live. In Him. Like Jairus’ little girl.

What is Jesus saying to you? “I say to you, get up!”

Next week marks the first week of Advent. The topic will be HOPE! Stay turned!