Sue Takamoto



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A3 Advent Devotional Entry • Eric Takamoto

A crack in the sky appeared. A sliver of neon blue light poured out from it...

It happened on the day of the annual sports festival at our son Owen's school, a highly anticipated and highly attended event in our community. The action on the sports field that afternoon was already in full swing. As the colors of the celestial display slowly morphed from bright blue to pink then to orange, more and more eyes turned heavenward until eventually all sports festival related activities had ceased.

My attention was diverted away from the amazing spectacle by the reactions of my fellow bystanders. Though we were all awestruck by the event, the people whose comments I heard fell into two divergent groups. Some were delighted, "How beautiful!," they exclaimed, while others shuddered, "I'm afraid." 

As I stood there lost in my wonderment, I could not keep myself from asking, "Is this it?" Could this really be the day of our Lord's return as described in Matthew 24:30 and elsewhere, with Jesus appearing in the sky coming on the clouds in power and great glory. "Is this it?" Was this really it for the Japanese people? Would this be all the souls we will have to offer our Lord?

Despite the excitement and expectation of the moment I found myself hoping for more time. After ten minutes or so the light began to fade and with it the hope of flying in the air with my Lord that day. But what stuck was this renewed sense of urgency. 

Just as the herald angel proclaimed it on that very first Christmas night, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11), so too must we continue to point the way toward our Savior Jesus for those who are still in need of rescue.

In this season of Advent, as we look forward with great anticipation to the celebration of Christ's first coming, let it cause us to joyfully long for the imminent day of his return. And let it also serve to remind us of the grave task that remains before us all until then. For on that day there will surely be two very different groups of people: those for whom hope will be finally realized and those for whom all hope will be utterly lost.

Eric Takamoto
Former A3 Missional Partner, Japan 

Eric TakamotoEric Takamoto served in Japan with A3 for over 20 years before returning earlier in 2023 to the U.S. to work with SIM. After being part of the early disaster response in northeast Japan (3.11.11), he and his family sensed God calling them to live and serve in Ishinomaki, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. They moved in 2012 and partnered there with BeOne, serving the community and being “people of Christ.” Eric’s compassion and willingness to walk with people who are suffering have inspired many who have watched him.

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A3 Advent devotional coverMore Information

  • This is one of many entries in A3's Advent Devotional. If you want to download a PDF of the entire devotional to read along with us, click here...
  • Sunset photo by Diego PH on Unsplash


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