First, an admission of inadequacy. My written ability to tell a story is quite lacking. I do not have the command of the English language that my dear friend Peter extols with eloquence, nor the brevity that my comrade Gabe has. Fortunately when I tell a story verbally I have one powerful ally, and that is my ability to erupt into debilitating, near paralyzing laughter which typically can shut my respiratory system down for a brief period of time. So as I attempt to tell this story, if you begin to dose off, just imagine a huge grin breaking out on my face and then eruptuous laughter.
I go to a small church in a small town called Shiromatsu. We do not have a consistent preacher, and thus every sermon is and can be an adventure. This morning's sermon was doubly so.
The topic was Christian evidences. Enter exhibit A: the number seven. Most of you view the number seven with deference, ignorance, and perhaps even scoff at this "perfect" number. Not any longer. You see, seven represents how we can know God.
1st: There are 7 days a week. Every time you look at a calendar you can see that God is there because there are 7 days a week. Ok, certainly God originated the 7 day week with creation so I can see the point on this one.
2nd: There are 7 colors in the rainbow. Again, God created the rainbow so I can see how this is also plausible evidence although not something that is going to make me jump off my agnostic or atheism ship.
3rd: There are 7 sounds in music. Do - Re - Mi - Fa - So - La - Di. Starting to get a bit sketchy, but sure, I'm still on board.
4th: And this is where I began to about lose it and instantly covered my mouth trying to give off an appearance of intense thought. There are 7 seas in England!? What? There must be a God!
5th: American sports teams sometimes use the lucky number seven. With every fiber of my being I try to restrain myself from erupting by this point. I suddenly start to feel disappointed that I only have five fingers on each hand or else I could submit them for evidence as well.
This is of course compounded with joy when you realize this all comes out in mixed Japanese/English. I do want to say I have immense respect for this man, and though I'm only had an opportunity to spend a couple of Sundays with him I consider him a dear friend and brother. He is incredibly intelligent and deeply spiritual and he has a vision for the church of Japan that is inspiring. Also, a fact I later found out was that the Japanese actually have a fixation on numbers and it has cultural significance to them that I yet don't know about. So something was inevitably lost in translation and the sermon I'm sure was very effective to the Japanese which is what is most important, neh?
So please, show a little reverence to the number seven.