January 2016

From 2016-01-18 to 2016-01-25

Christians Unity

"Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord"

(1Peter 2, 9)

The call to be God’s people

St Peter tells the early Church that in their search for meaning prior to encountering the Gospel they were not a people. But through hearing the call to be God’s chosen race and receiving the power of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, they have become God’s people. This reality is expressed in Baptism, common to all Christians, in which we are born again of water and the Holy Spirit (cf. John 3:5). In Baptism we die to sin, in order to rise with Christ to a new life of grace in God. It is an ongoing challenge daily to remain aware of this new identity in Christ.

How do we understand our common call to be “God’s people”?

How do we express our baptismal identity as a “royal priesthood”?

Hearing of God’s mighty acts

Baptism opens up an exciting new journey of faith, uniting each new Christian with God’s people throughout the ages. The Word of God – the Scriptures with which Christians of all traditions pray, study and reflect – is the foundation of a real, albeit incomplete, communion. In the shared sacred texts of the Bible, we hear of God’s saving acts in salvation history: leading his people out of slavery in Egypt, and the great mighty act of God: the raising of Jesus from the dead, which opened new life to all of us. Furthermore, prayerful reading of the Bible leads Christians to recognise the mighty acts of God also in their own lives.

In what ways do we see and respond to God’s “mighty acts”: in worship and song, in work for justice and peace?

How do we treasure the Scriptures as the living Word, calling us to greater unity and mission?

Response and proclamation

God has chosen us not as a privilege. He has made us holy, but not in the sense that Christians are more virtuous than others. He has chosen us to fulfil some purpose. We are holy only insofar as we are committed to God’s service, which is always to bring his love to all people. Being a priestly people means being in service to the world. Christians live this baptismal calling and bear witness to God’s mighty acts in a variety of ways:

Healing wounds: Wars, conflicts and abuses have wounded the emotional and relational lives of the people of Latvia and many other countries. God’s grace helps us to beg forgiveness for the obstacles which prevent reconciliation and healing, to receive mercy, and to grow in holiness.

Searching for truth and unity: Awareness of our common identity in Christ calls us to work towards answering the questions that still divide us as Christians. We are called, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, to share our experiences and so discover, that in our common pilgrimage, Jesus Christ is among us.

An Active Commitment to Human Dignity: Christians who have been brought out of darkness into the marvellous light of the Kingdom recognise the extraordinary dignity of all human life. Through common social and charitable projects we reach out to the poor, the needy, the addicted and the marginalised.

As we consider our commitment to Christian unity, for what should we beg forgiveness?

Knowing the mercy of God, how do we engage in social and charitable projects with other Christians?

From 2016-01-18 to 2016-02-14

Ecology radiates life

Ecology radiates life for the family.

Some officials of Setagaya Ku'ward came to visit us to give a report about the work  done in our garden that is designated as a 'special preserved area'.  Our garden  was  open to the  public, with the presence of guides from the ward, 4 days in April, November, December 2014 and 2 days in March 2015. Ali in all, 754 persons came. ln April 2015, there were 144 visitors. People who come are invited to answer a survey.

The great majority of them were happy with their visit and their feedbacks were in the line of: "We felt relieved to find an oasis in this large city; it is wonderful  to see  how nature is well  preserved  so  near a  highway; we felt healed in the middle of greenery; it is a precious occasion to be touched by nature and every year, we come with the children, please continue to open it to the public". When hearing this, how can we not be very grateful for this gift to our MIC community from our loving God and also for the possibility to share it with many people.

Tokyo, Chronicles 

From 2016-01-01 to 2016-01-18

New Year Prayer

Remember us, O God;
from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time,
blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.

Bless your children at the turning of the year
and fill the months ahead with the bright hope
that is ours in the coming of Christ.

You are our God, living and reigning, for ever and ever.
R. Amen.