Sunday, February 24, 2008

Maiko: The Japanese people, God's love, and caring for the earth

From Maiko, Earth Ministry's Intern

Today I attended the seventh annual conference of Reaching Japanese for Christ. This conference is for people who want to share God’s love with Japanese people, so they learn how to bring Japanese people to Jesus through this conference. Japan has less than 0.2 percent of Christians. Why do Japanese not become Christian? This is one of the seven wonders of the world. However, there is another fact, the number of those who became a Christian outside of Japan is seven times more than those becoming a Christian in Japan.

I brought my coffee mug today with Fair Trade coffee. I bought the mug in the airport in Japan and it has a picture of a temple in Kyoto and a tree with cherry blossoms. Japanese people usually love temples or shrines and traditional atmospheres with seasonal nature’s symbol such as the cherry blossom. These traditions have prevailed in Japanese culture throughout history. I believe that it is really difficult for Japanese people to be separated from these traditions such as the spirit of Zen Buddhism, Shinto, or nature. This is a form of Japanese spirituality. They cannot give up their precious traditions and their spiritual events such as going to shrines or temples for New Year’s celebration and etc. I think that this is one of the reasons that Japanese people do not become Christian.

However, I believe that ecological thinking is a key to bring the idea of God’s love and His hope to Japan. Indeed, among Japanese many people are now concerned about eco-activities. Everyday many TV commercials, shows, newspapers, and magazines show them the importance of sustainable use of energy and their renewable alternatives. They know what to do, however, they do not have the motivation to do what they need to do. And, they do not know the real reasons to do it. It is hard for people on a small island in the east of the world to imagine the situations of the poor far away from them. But, if Japanese know God whose love is ubiquitous in the world, they will know the reason to do what they need to do for Him. As He shows and give His love to us, we also need to show and give our love to people around the world. By doing so, ecological thinking is the powerful idea for Japanese to reach the poor or anybody in the world even though they are far away from the small island. I hope people will notice His love someday for spreading their eyes in the world through His love.

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