On Sunday, I got to go to my home church, good old Kurume Bible Fellowship. It's non-denominational and super international, and I love it. It was so great to see those people again, especially since this family comes from all different nations, languages, genders, and generations, as opposed to my dorm family, which is none of those things. (But I love them too, and I miss them already).
During the worship time, we sang “Multiply Your Love.” I have always liked that song, but this time, as I listened to the words, and looked around at this church, united in hope after a disaster, singing these words from from the inside out, I teared up.
“Multiply Your love through us, To the lost and the least. Let us be Your healing hands, Your instruments of peace. May our single purpose be, To imitate Your life. Through our simple words and deeds, Let love be multiplied. Let us see Your kingdom come, To the poor and broken ones. Let us see a mighty flood, Of justice and mercy, O Jesus Let love be multiplied. Multiply Your church through us, To the ends of the Earth. Where there's only barrenness, Let us see new birth. Use us as Your laborers, Working side by side. Let us see your harvest come, Let love be multiplied”
We sang with the courage and hope that can only be found in the holy Spirit in an age like this. It breaks my heart that only a tiny fraction of the people in Japan have found that hope, and many are losing hope, even to the point of suicide. Even a close family friend has recently attempted this end. Whether this event was connected to the earthquake or not, it breaks my heart that this is the mentality for so many people. What can we do for these friends? how can I communicate the truth that God holds them in His hands even now?
The sermon, given by Uncle Gaius, was on Isaiah 61, and addressed what we are to do when faced with such destruction and the discouraging thought that we alone can do so little in the face of such a big problem. God is powerful enough to flip the world upside down. In fact, that's the reason Jesus came into the world. To “heal the heartbroken, announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners” (v.1). He came to change mourning into comfort, replace ashes for crowns of beauty, and clean out the rubble in order to rebuild. That's the business Jesus is in. In the face of the incomprehensible devastation on this earth, we can find hope in the fact that God “loves justice; and hates robbery and wrongdoing” He says “In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them” (v.8). He is appalled when people sit back and do nothing when they see oppression. He tells the people to rebuild and be his ministers on earth, even though our hope and glory are in the sovereign Lord alone. Surely he makes a beautiful garden out of the dust, and uses his people as his labourers to multiply his love.