At many stores in December, we hear Christmas carols in Japan. Amazing! But, many do not know the true story of the Lord’s birth and saving work. Some Japanese people think Christmas is Santa’s birthday! So, at our Bible study Christmas party we shared the account of Jesus’ birth by lighting Advent candles, reading scripture and singing Christmas carols. Each year I learn (or re-learn) something new. Here are my top 3 lessons I’ve learned this Christmas 2020:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6-7 NIV) Anxiety is natural during this time of uncertainty due to the pandemic. However, the Bible gives us the antidote: prayer with thanksgiving. With gratitude, we can pray and God replaces the anxiety with peace! I need this lesson every day.
We are following our governor’s edict to stay safe this Christmas and will be celebrating with just the two of us at home. Technology allows us to connect and be flexible in this situation. We’ll share part of Christmas day with our kids in Tokyo and with cousins on virtual meetings later in the day! We will be imaginative and create new traditions this year.
In Japan, we helped with singing Christmas carols and playing accordion at Nishiya Baptist Church’s “open church” event. We hosted a Christmas Tea open house for the Soshin School teachers and staff. This year, we’ll be praying for our Japanese friends as they serve without us, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ during this season. We can encourage others from the safety of home. My doctor advises caution due to my heart attack last year.
What are your top 3 lessons learned this Christmas? Please send us an email or note to share your insights!
Great news! We now have ~$20k in our Monthly Matching Campaign fund! Several donors and the Japanese Baptist Church women made a generous gift to help us return to Japan. Would you consider partnering with us and have your pledge doubled for the first 12 months?!!!
May the Lord give us all hearts filled with gratitude, flexible for His work, and willing to serve in this world full of need, to show His Love through Jesus Christ! May we each have a blessed Christmas full of thankfulness and a joyful New Year!
Gordon and Lee Ann