This has been a very difficult BLOG to write, my first attempt was before the Earthquake/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster struck Japan, but I just couldn't get the words right. After the disaster struck, I haven't felt up to rewriting it for a while. I want to reiterate that we are about 800kms away from the areas directly affected by the tsunami. The nuclear problem is a concern, but the more research I've done into it, the less worried I am, despite what some foreign media is saying. Sensationalism sells!
Now on to the BLOG, because this is something I've been learning from the Lord more recently about being sensitive to the level of faith different people are at. Some people are strongly against celebrating Easter because of possible pagan origins of the holiday. The majority of Christians though celebrate it us one of the most Holy times of the year. The truth is that none of the so called "Christian Holidays" such as Easter, Christmas, Lent, etc are mentioned in the scriptures as Holidays Christians need to celebrate. They are actually just celebrated out of tradition. The understanding I've come to by the scriptures is this: if people wish to celebrate these days they can, if they choose not to celebrated that's OK too.
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Romans 14:5 (King James Version)
So now let me share my experience from Easter 2010 in Japan. Firstly just like Christmas, Easter is not a public holiday in Japan. Whereas Christmas does get celebrated by people (both Christians and non-Christian) here in Japan in some form, Easter goes by almost unnoticed, there are no Easter Eggs in the shops. So when the Sakamoto's returned from a business trip to the US with Easter Eggs as gifts for our church here, it was big treat for everyone, because it's something we can't get in Japan. Just this little thing made the people in our little home church, feel connected with something much bigger and it's easy to feel very much in the minority as a Christian in Japan.
If you would like to donate to a church based charity that actually is active on the ground in the disaster zone (rather than waiting for approval from the Japanese government to get in) please donate to CRASH Japan. If you would rather donate to a secular organisation then please donate to the Japanese Red Cross. THANK YOU