Visual Music – Weekly Inspiring Image

Miyagi rice fields sunset

The sun sets over rice fields in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture. In the nearby city of Yamagata, four hours north of Tokyo, Pastor Kumiko Matsumoto leads his church in worship each Sunday morning. At the start of the service a flashing light directs the congregation’s attention to the front of the room. No one is singing aloud, but everyone is moving their hands. Music plays in the background for the benefit of those who are hearing, but most of the music in this room isn’t audible. It’s visual. It’s in Japanese Sign Language (JSL), the heart language of Japan’s Deaf community.

Pastor Matsumoto has long been involved in a Sign Language Bible translation project and tells of the importance of visual Scripture translations for his church and himself. “Some time ago I finally understood the meaning of reconciliation between Man and God,” he shares. “In JSL the sign is to take one hand from above and bring it down to the other hand with palms facing upwards. God came DOWN to us, it’s not the other way around!” Read the full story.

Photo: Marc Ewell