Komorebi: A Japanese Peace Piece

May the Lord open new doors for Jesus in Japan – Omo ga Nihon ni atarashī reitekina tobira o hiraku yō ni!

Operation World describes Japan as being the largest unevangelized nation that is completely open to missionaries – yet due to spiritual, socio-cultural, linguistic and financial difficulties, spreading the gospel there has consistently proved very hard.

I wrote this lovely short piece for flute and piano very much with Japan in mind as a piece to soak in and enjoy – but also as a way of bringing that country into focus.

One lovely touch is that I wrote it for Nicola Gerrard, who has blessed us so often with her flute playing. She actually received the score on her birthday! Thank you too to Sally Prittie for accompanying her on the piano!

Komorebi refers to the sunlight filtering through the trees. The Japanese take Shinrinyoku (forest bathing!) very seriously!

You can imagine plunging deep into a wood where all is silent and conducive to meeting with the Lord. May He take you to pleasant places as you listen and become acquainted with the music.

One option would be to allow the music to lead you into strategic prayer for particular aspects of missionary work to a country in which tens of millions know little or nothing of Jesus’ invitation to them.

Yonggi Cho used to say that if he required five hours to prepare a sermon that had a certain effect in South Korean, it required four times as much preparation to achieve the same effect in Japan. The history of the country has been a very difficult one spiritually – particularly in terms of people remaining faithful to Christ after making a professing of faith because of pervasive peer pressure.

For those who might like to take up the challenge to pray for Japan, we are providing a framework here, using the excellent guide provided by OMF. They are encouraging people to pray for the people of Japan for FIVE MINUTES A DAY for five days, for FIVE STRATEGIC AREAS. And as the piece of music is about four and a half minutes long, that feels really creative!

They are confident that ‘Our prayers will open doors in powerful ways, encourage believers, release strongholds and bring great glory to God.’

Japan Prayer Resources and the guide itself.

Here are some other links that provide valuable starter background information for praying for Japan.

https://omf.org/asia/japan/resources/about-japan/

How to pray for Japan’s spiritual needs

Is God sowing seeds for revival in Japan?

We thought you might also appreciate these illustrated Japanese expressions that convey concepts that have no direct equivalent in English.

May the Lord provide many people around the world with “Yuugen” moments: that is an awareness of the beauty of the universe that triggers emotional responses that are too deep for words – and then take them the extra step to knowing and embracing the Lord who is the Creator.

‘For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.’ (Rom. 1:20-21 ESV)

“Wabi-sabi” speaks of finding beauty in the very midst of life’s imperfections. Isn’t it precious when we come across people who do the same?

I was interested that they had their own word meaning “you’re tired” – but from the perspective that it is letting someone know that you recognise their hard work and are grateful for it: “Otsukaresama”

I was particularly struck, too, by “Kintsukuroi” – which is the art of using gold or silver to restore broken pottery in such a way that the object becomes still more beautiful than it originally was. Isn’t that a lovely way of describing how the Lord takes the broken pieces of our life and restores them?

Heiwa sharōmu to everyone – which means Shalom peace in Japanese! (According to Google anyway!)