Being the Body

1 Comment » Written on February 13th, 2010     
Filed under: missions
Followers of Jesus probably end up turning off others when we talk too much about being the “body of Christ”. After all, it does sound a bit presumptuous at best… Nevertheless, it’s a pretty central part of our identity, both corporate and individual, and one that comes back to bite us when it gets ignored.

On February 11th the Covenant Denomination of Japan (NSKK) held its annual business meeting. Pastors and lay delegates from twenty-some NSKK churches gathered to do the business of an organization like ours. The agenda included reports from the various arms and legs, hands and feet of this body, and plans for the coming year. It sounds like a lot of busy-ness, and I guess it is. But lest we forget how important all of this stuff really is, the organizers have done a great job of inserting several excellent reminders into the program.

1. The entire program was designed in the general form of a worship service. We began with songs of praise and had several times of prayer throughout. There was also the reading of God’s Word, a time of thanksgiving as we celebrated those who joined the body thru baptism during the previous year, and in closing we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together. It’s good to be reminded that everything we do, whether in business meetings, in worship services, in the classroom or on the streets, is ultimately meant to give praise and bring glory to God.

2. The morning session featured a guest speaker, Pastor Nakamura who is the director of the Niigata Bible Institute. He gave us fascinating insights about the huge difference between Korea and Japan’s response to Christianity. Lots of great food for thought!

3. During reports we welcomed a new co-worker, Paula Chen, who is a missionary sent to Japan by the Taiwan Covenant Church, to work with the NSKK. We also recognized and said farewell to Ronna Husby, who together with her husband Dave, has lived and served as a Covenant missionary in Japan since 1983 and will be leaving this summer. Dave has taken on a new position as director of Covenant World Relief.

4. In another report we heard of the ongoing struggle to procure visas from US Immigration for Pastor Miyamoto and his wife, who are planning to go to the greater Detroit area to serve with the Three C’s Covenant Church in Novi, MI. And here we thought getting missionaries into unnamed countries in central Asia was hard!

5. During our business session we approved plans for the Saginuma Covenant Church to purchase land and a building. They have been renting space on the second floor of an apartment building for years and years but realize that being “up in a building” limits the impact they can have on their community.

In the end I came away feeling blessed. Taking care of the body is really important, but some parts of the task don’t necessarily have the glitter or sparkle that others do. The same goes for personal body care doesn’t it… sleeping, eating, exercising, studying… it’s all part of staying healthy. So when I can come away from a business meeting feeling blessed and encouraged… what more could I ask for!

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One Response to “Being the Body”

Thanks Jim for an encouraging report. I had sort of hoped to get some news of how things went but wasn’t sure of the best source (thinking mostly phone calls…) Your summary was both informative and uplifting….actually how I’ve often felt when returning from those meetings (even though nothing was particularly exciting or electric.) …important maintenance of the body.

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