Recently I was asked to write an article for Kyoho, the monthly newsletter of Immanuel General Mission, the church denomination we work with here in Japan. They requested I bring greetings regarding my then-upcoming marriage as well as a short Easter message. Both Easter and our wedding have passed, but I thought I’d share the English version of the article here on my blog for those who might be interested.
First of all, thank you. I appreciate the fellowship, support and ministry partnership of IGM in my life and ministry in Japan. Most of you probably already know this by now, but in December I got engaged Yoko Katsuyama, a young lady from my church in Nagoya.
Yoko and I are planning to get married on April 30, return temporarily to Canada in the summer, and return to Japan to continue our ministry together next year. We look forward to continuing to partner with IGM churches in reaching Japan for Jesus, and would appreciate your prayers during this season of transition.
When I first told a certain Japanese friend about my relationship with Yoko, his response was, “Oh! Spring has come for Robin!” (Robin ni haru ga kita!) This was the first time I’d ever heard that expression. But it does make sense, especially for someone who has been single for as long me. I guess that makes it really appropriate that we are having our wedding in spring time as well.
When you think about Spring, you think about change, new life, new beginnings. And so it’s appropriate that we celebrate Easter in the Spring as well.
Into the long, dark “winter” of our world of sin, shame and pain, Jesus Christ came to be the light of the world: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)
He showed us God’s heart of love for us, and pointed us toward a better way of living: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
More than this, He died for our sins, the ultimate expression of His love for us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
But death was not the end. Jesus rose to new life. And because of His life, we too can have new life. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
So remember, “Spring has come” is not just an expression of the season of year or a new relationship, but a reality we live in as followers of Christ. Though this world still seems dark and cold sometimes, for the Christian, Spring has come!
– Robin White (April 2019)