Empires of men are falling...

"Empires of men are falling upturned in moments." Those were the words used by NBC Dateline tonight describing the earthquake in Japan. As we have watched the devastation in Japan all weekend, my heart has gone out to this island of people. Already the statistics are coming in:

-worst earthquake in country's history
-5th largest in world history
-5 nuclear reactors damaged
-40 ft wall of water at some points of land
-9000 dead in one town of 10000
-2 million homes damaged
-88 thousand missing

Incomprehensible. Vast. Yet, they are haunting realities. So many lives have been changed in one weekend. With only 30 minutes warning in most areas, a tsunami would altar the course of Japan for the next 20 years as they rebuild their homes, work place, schools, and their lives. But, there is going to be a greater need in Japan's rebuild. We are going to hear from the news and government agencies that commerce and business, entertainment and media, and even history and education, are all going to need financial help to bring this nation back from such a catastrophe. And, while I concur, there remains yet another great need in Japan right now.

A nation rebuilt with brick and mortar must have a moral fiber running through it like a spiritual rebar. That  moral fiber is where the church comes in.  I get it that social justice and meeting nations at their felt need is central to the gospel. My son will be in guatemala this summer doing exactly that. We know that water, building materials, books, and computers are all going to have to be replaced immediately. But, we must do more and we can do more for the people of Japan. The church and its message are a vital ingredient in any society. Especially one that is rebuilding from such loss.

We must pray for the church in this hour to find its platform for service both in rebuilding the natural and the spiritual existence of Japan. 

Let me challenge all of our readers to two actions. First, to take Wednesdays and pray for the transformation of Japan. And secondly, be generous in giving to a mission-based ministry that can bring the gospel into the lives of devastated people right now. As empires are falling, we must stand and rebuild them with needed mortar and moral construction.


  1. As I read through those statistics, all I could do was weep and pray - in the middle of Starbucks. I'm sure people must have thought I was having a mental breakdown. When we stop and think about it though, read those stats a couple of times and let it rack our brains for a couple of minutes, we can start to have a slight understanding of what has really happened. Even then, we can't put ourselves in that position or say we understand, because we don't. It seems to me that we often get so caught up in our lives and are so consumed with what's going on with us, that as long as it doesn't affect us in some direct way, it leaves our minds and we have the thought of "oh, that's sad, who wants to go to Applebee's?" We call ourselves leaders, but what are we really leading. Leadership is standing in the gap that no one else will stand in. Leadership is understanding the need at hand and coming to the realization of what we can do to be effective and helpful in those situations.


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