Sharing God’s Refreshment with one another

Our dear friends and fellow workers,

As the air becomes chillier in these autumn days here in Japan, it is also time for our family to harvest the persimmons in the garden.

This year we expect to harvest more than a thousand of these delicious golden fruits from our tree. It brings us great joy not just to pick them and prepare them for eating, but also to distribute them to our friends, neighbours and co-workers. What a joy it is to be able to share God’s blessing with others!

This reminds me of a gem I’ve rediscovered in Paul’s letter to his friend, Philemon. He says in verses 6 and 7. “And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.” (Philemon 1:6-7, New Living Translation)

This is my prayer for our brothers and sisters in Bethesda Chapel: That this precious fellowship (koinonia – Greek translation) we have in Christ will become more and more vibrant as we see and understand what God is doing among us; and that our love for one another will give us great joy and comfort so that our hearts (bowels – original translation) will always be refreshed.

Just as a delicious plate of char kway teow, or in our case, a fresh persimmon refreshes our bowels (deepest inner parts), may our ongoing fellowship, love, care, generosity, and kindness continue to refresh our inner beings!

Stephan Smithdorff