Today we were blessed to experience Japanese Tea Ceremony. As the name implies, this is more than just a cup of Lipton.
One of the girls from church, Kayo, studied Tea Ceremony for a while and was willing to demonstrate it for the college students, as well as provide the kimonos and tea utensils.
As with many things in Japan, there is a lot of structure in Tea Ceremony. There are certain things to say, certain times to say them and certain movements to make.
It is almost like a dance or art form. Other art forms are also have a kata, or form: martial arts, flower arranging, calligraphy.
Unfortunately, some of this thinking is also in the Japanese churches. people have a mindset that "This is how church is done." This explains a lot of the ritualism in the churches. While there is nothing wrong with tradition and ritual, it is a problem when it becomes more important than following the leading of God.