Sunday, August 06, 2006


Today is the start of Obon in Okinawa -- it is earlier than the rest of Japan (August 13), because they follow the Chinese calendar here.

This 3 day event goes back centuries. This is when people will travel home so they can "welcome" back their ancestral spirits. They will pray to them for forgiveness of any wrongs and for protection during the next year. On the last day there is a ceremony to send off the spirits for another year.

It is sad to see how much effort and commitment is put into Obon -- most people do this out of tradition and/or obligation. Yet people will not take having a relationship with the one true God seriously.

Perhaps times are changing: many of my adult English students are younger and do not want the responsibility of caring for the family altar.

Perhaps God will use this generation to change Japan's priorities.

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