Category Archives: Missio agro

Christmas Prayer for Fukushima

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We have escaped like a bird
    from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
    and we have escaped.

(Psalm 124:7, NRSV)

It is not from Fukushima City that I write. I am sitting with my nephew and brother in his underground, home office. Outside the snowfall barely sticks to the ground as the winds of a winter storm blow with gusto. Yet we are safe in the warm coziness of this space. Warmth, shelter, family and even a little bit of work. It is here that I write.

Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs from the first years of our Saviour’s life. In a world seeming to grow in violence and oppression there is a word that the Word frustrates the designs of evil. And whereas Satan, through Herod could not abort the deliverance of God, then so it is true that Satan now defeated, the snare now broken, cannot stop the advance of the Gospel of the Kingdom in this or any age. We are as birds escaped from the fowler’s snare. The snare is broken. Thanks be to the Lord.

As my heart now turns to thoughts of Fukushima I am reminded of my former student who’s son committed suicide last year. Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more. And yet, the last Sunday of Advent, when the Japan Lutheran Church celebrates Christmas, her and her husband became followers of Jesus in the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Satan cannot  abort the deliverance of our God.

My student’s story is sadly one of a large number who is taken victim by him who holds the power of death and whose native language is lies. The experience last spring of this young man’s premature death is a call to wake up, to be alert; for while we are idle, Satan is busy working to destroy the race of men and Jesus weeps.

But the truth of the Gospel is present in this one line—”the snare is broken.” If Satan is the fowler then death is the snare and its teeth and bindings sin. This contraption, this device of hell is broken. Therefore, where the enemy is bringing attack against Fukushima, where people take their own lives overcome in despair, where individuals reclude themselves from the fellowship of others because they are bound in fear, where people doubt their capacity so much that they refuse to venture into the world I pray love, love, love came down, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day and the snare is broken! People of Fukushima, fly as the freed birds you are on the wind of God’s Spirit!

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer Request: The newly baptized couple at Izumi Lutheran Church who are still grieving the loss of their beloved son.

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Missio agro

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Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.~ the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 16:15

The missio agro, the mission field, is shaped and defined by the dynamic energy and intention of the Triune God. Its periphery, ever dynamic, is defined by the reality of the unfinished task and its meaning is found ultimately in the missio Dei. On this page I desire to share tales from the mission field both as a way to specifically narrow how I share my life in this avenue and to reflect on the missionary task in my specific context of Fukushima, Japan.

The whole inhabited world is the field and in these last days God’s Spirit is being poured out on all flesh. These are exciting days to live in. Perhaps the most exciting since the days of Christ’s first coming. But unlike the indiscriminate, universal, all places, all nations, all flesh, nature of God’s outpouring of the Spirit in his missional heart for all creation, human beings are limited to the confines of our time and space bound mortal bodies. Without supernatural intervention we can’t serve in two places at once and therefore are given our place, our station so to speak in engaging and partnering in God’s mission. This is a tremendous privilege and duty. By God’s mercy and help may I live into it well.

As I continue to write in these pages I will unpack some of the heavier language in this introduction but for now I want to focus on the specificity of my station— Fukushima, Japan. This prefecture sits in the southeast portion of the Tohoku region of Japan. Tohoku is the northernmost part of Honshu, Japan’s main and largest island. Known more recently for its radioactive disaster about ninety kilometers to the east on the Pacific coast it is prudent that Fukushima becomes known for more then that which has stigmatized it. Healing, repairs, pain, grief, brokenness all remain in many. Many have moved on. The tragedy of what has happened should not be forgotten but nor should it define this place or its people.

Looking elsewhere, I found it interesting that Fukushima is known historically as the “Fruit Kingdom.” Known literally in Japan for being a place of producing fruit I have strongly suspected that if what is true in the natural, pictures what is true in the spiritual then this place has an exciting prophetic destiny. I am praying and prophesying over this agro, over this field, fruit—fruit that will last!

I am excited to labor alongside the Lord and God’s holy people here and I continue to pray that God will ekballo; i.e. thrust forth, laborers into this harvest field, I pray that  God will prepare and continue to till the soil of hearts and that fallow ground now and yet to be broken will become a breeding ground for God’s Kingdom. A Kingdom which is a fruit kingdom of sorts, full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, friends, family, wayfaring strangers of good will: will you join me in praying for this land and her people? God so loves them as God so loves us.

Pax Christi,

Spencer Jordan