In an article adapted from Christian Living, Lafcadio Hearn tells the following true story.
In a Japanese seashore village over a hundred years ago, an earthquake startled the villagers one autumn evening. But, being accustomed to earthquakes, they soon went back to their activities.
Above the village on a high plain, an old farmer was watching from his house. He looked at the sea, and the water appeared dark and acted strangely, moving against the wind, running away from the land. The old man knew what it meant. His one thought was to warn the people from the village.
He called to his grandson, “Bring me a torch! Make haste!” In the fields behind him lay his great crop of rice. Piled in stacks ready for the market, it was worth a fortune. The old man hurried out with his torch. In a moment the precious crop was blazing. Then the big bell pealed from the temple below: Fire!
Back from the beach, away from that strange sea, up the steep side of the cliff came the people of the village. They were coming to try to save the crops of their rich neighbor. “He’s mad!” they said.
As they reached the plain, the old man shouted back at the top of his voice, “Look!” At the edge of the horizon they saw a long, lean, dim line – a line that thickened as they gazed. That line was the sea, rising like a high wall and coming more swiftly than a kite flies. Then came a shock, heavier than thunder. The great swell struck the shore with a weight that sent a shudder through the hills and tore their homes to matchsticks. It drew back, roaring. Then it struck again, and again, and yet again. Once more it struck and ebbed; then it returned to its place.
On the plain no word was spoken. Then the voice of the old man was heard, saying gently, “That is why I set fire to the rice.” He stood among them almost as poor as the poorest, for his wealth was gone – but he had saved 400 lives by his sacrifice.
You and I were hopelessly lost in sin. There was nothing we could do to change our helpless condition. So the Father sacrificed His precious Son – He gave His only Son – that we might be saved from death. What a Sacrifice! The Father gave up what was most precious that we might be saved. O praise His name forever!
In 1875, Philip P. Bliss wrote this beautiful hymn: “Man of Sorrows!” what a name for the Son of God who came Ruined sinners to reclaim. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood; sealed my pardon with His blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Guilty, vile, and helpless we; Spotless Lamb of God was He; “Full atonement!” can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior! Lifted up was He to die; “It is finished!” was His cry; Now in Heav’n exalted high. Hallelujah! What a Savior! When He comes, our glorious King, All His ransomed home to bring. Then anew His song we’ll sing: Hallelujah! What a Savior!
This Sunday, March 28, we will celebrate Palm Sunday at the 10:35am worship service. What an opportunity to wave our palms and sing praises to our Savior! This is also our monthly Missions Sunday. Please don’t miss it.
If you are not able to join us in person in the building at 10:35am for worship, please join us online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Search: Honolulu AG). It will be uploaded later that day to our website (honoluluag.org) and YouTube channel (Search: Honolulu Assembly of God).
Resurrection Sunday will follow on April 4. Get ready to praise our risen Lord and Savior! Please invite someone to share this thrilling celebration with you.
On Sunday, April 11, we will celebrate a Friend Day. Invite your friends to enjoy the 10:35am worship service with you and stay for a potluck Fellowship Lunch that will take place right after the service. Bring your favorite foods to add to the table. I can hardly wait to share that time with you.
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!