Thursday, December 24, 2009


A few days ago, at the Tokorozawa HC, we were having a short discussion about the Nativity. Yoshitaka-san was leading it, and one thing that all of us noticed about the birth of Christ was how sad/pitiful/difficult it was for Mary and Joseph.

Everyone: murmur (about how sad it was)
Yoshitaka: So you all noticed it was quite difficult for Mary and Joseph.
Hideko: Yes, they had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. It was quite far.
Emiko: And by that time, Joseph and Mary had to endure the stigma of her being pregnant before getting married.
Me: And also they had to stay in the stable when they got to Bethlehem.
Yoshitaka: Do you know why all this happened? Do you know why it was so terrible for them that first night?
Yoshiko: Because Joseph didn't make a room reservation in Bethlehem!
Everyone: *stunned*

Yoshitaka's point was that even when Jesus was born, the forces of darkness were already working to cause problems, even though Yoshiko's joke kinda threw us off track for a bit.

My family came up on Monday to go and visit Japan. First time they've been here, and it's been a little bit hard for my Dad because:
  1. Some of the best food is raw.
  2. Some of the best food has mushrooms.
  3. My mom and sis are experts at shopping.
It has been pretty fun going around doing stuff with them (Disneyland, meeting old friends, going shopping), but I think perhaps I have done a bit too much fun, especially since there's more fun (Hakone, Kyoto) coming up, so I have to stay at home and do work tomorrow. Which can be a bit of a bummer, but is actually very much like what most of my Japanese friends have to do, since Christmas isn't a public holiday here. (Though the 23rd of Dec is, since it's the Emperor's birthday).

Anyway, around this time of the year, many people have what is called a Bōnenkai (忘年会), where they would have lots of drinks, and forget the worries and bad stuff of the past year. But the KHCN people decided to have a Christmas party, which instead of a Bōnenkai, would be a Kinenkai (記念会), where we would look back on the year and remember what we can give thanks to God for.

I can thank God for the friends I've made in Japan, for the friends I've met in Japan, for colleagues who are friends, for a church that has supported me, for a family that supports me.

But most of all, I can thank God for being a God who loves me so much that His arm always protects me, even when I'm not a good Christian.

So yeah, that's about it.

Merry Christmas everybody!

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