Do you know the origin of the word “Christmas”?
Well, if you break it up, of course you can tell it’s “Christ”, or the chosen One of God, Jesus Christ, who came to the earth to give us eternal life, and “mas” or “mass”, which means “festival”, or “gathering”. Hence, Christmas is a day we celebrate Christ, and more specifically, Christ’s coming to Earth as a baby over 2000 years ago.
But, of course, in Japan, the meaning is different. Christmas has been changed from a holy day (holiday), from a day to rejoice in Christ coming to the world for us because he loved us, to a day that is simply there for kids to get presents, young adults to get a date, and others to get KFC chicken.
In other words, in Japan “Christmas” is just a “mas”, just another non-holiday of fun, a day in which the story and eternal joy and love of Christ is completely taken out. And therefore it is a rather sad substitute for the real thing.
In Japan, if you go to any store for at least ten minutes in December (or really anytime after Halloween), you will hear Wham’s “Last Christmas”.
You see, Christmas is just another day for sappy romance and meaningless decorations here. It is not a holiday of celebrating the greatest love and present that Jesus gave to us by coming as a humble baby and dying on the cross in payment for our sins.
My family has a Christmas party at our home ever year, and many non-Christians come to it. It is there that we have great opportunities to share about the real joy of God’s greatest gift, Jesus. It is there where we sing songs that really reflect on his coming at Christmas. It is quite different from the mainstream “mas” party in Japan because we have meaningful fellowship. Your prayers would be enormously appreciated for that time!
Thank you everyone for reading this blog post! If you haven’t already, scroll to the top of the page to the title, and hit the follow button next to the search bar. I post articles about Japanese culture, customs, fun facts, and more, every week (or almost ever week).
For now, bye and God bless!