The year 1991 saw my family move into a new church in Oji Town, Nara, Japan. The representation of the building, though crude, is a faithful representation of the structure. The Japanese script in the doorway is Mrs. Kobayashi’s addition, a fitting expression of our hope that it would become a place of nourishment for the heart, for it means “The Sheep’s Gate”. The original cards are displayed below.
Despite being over twenty years old the card could be opened and displayed for photographing. Three scenes show (1) the baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph (above) (2) the wise men and (3) the shepherds (below). The scripture is from Isaiah 9:6.
This idealised portrayal of our church (which really is on a hill) suggests the words of Jesus, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) This is a fitting challenge to those of us who claim to know Jesus.
This card is by far the most theological one I have devised to date, employing no fewer than five scriptures to tell how Abraham received from God the promise of blessing for all nations through his descendant who would be Jesus. They are Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16; Genesis 15:5; Galatians 3:9; and Romans 4:11,12. Yes, they are best read in this order for maximum effect.
The three geometric shapes simply represent the precious gifts the wise men brought to Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the very best for the very greatest.
God’s greatest gift of His Son is sensitively portrayed by my beloved. The scripture is from John 3:16.
What is this gift?
The card magically opens up to reveal… Jesus!
The idea for the way the card opens to make the ribbon represent also the roof came from a friend’s wedding invitation card.
Jesus’ coming as a light means we need no longer remain in darkness (John 12:46).