We are His Workmanship

This month I was able to go and see the famous Sapporo snow festival with a Japanese friend. The festival first started 70 years ago and it has gotten bigger and better ever since. This year there was projection mapping on 3 of the major sculptures, an amazing mix of craftsmanship and technology. In addition, international teams competed against each other in creating smaller but wonderfully detailed works of art using nothing but snow. Hordes of international visitors wrapped in down coats, arm themselves with selfie sticks and charge Sapporo’s Odori Park for a good time.

Looking at the sculptures, I thought about the passage in Ephesians, that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. It’s encouraging to remember that God has prepared work for us to do in Japan. Works that will bring Him glory, works that will spiritually bless others, and have an eternal impact. Right now, we don’t really see it. Our ministry is still mainly about learning. Right now, there are PILES of snow mushed together in some awkward shapes i.e. Awkward conversations, language mistakes, cultural misunderstandings, occasional frustration etc. This is the experience of every new missionary who enters into cross-cultural ministry. But I know that God has a plan and as time goes on, as long as we do not give up, we will start to see the shape of God’s design, the work that He has planned for us to do in Japan. The “mush” will become a beautiful work of grace. As one Christian friend reminded me recently – although it is still winter, seeds waiting for spring’s blooming is already in the ground.

Thank you, God, for the beautiful snow falling on Japan. For the many beautiful things, we can see, the wonderful things we can do, and the Japanese people we get to meet, all because of your grace. Help us to see your hand in all of creation, and may we respond with faith and thanksgiving.




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