Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sakura

The Cherry Trees in the Nations Capitol are now in bloom. It is when this occurs in the early spring that I most enjoy the beauty that God has given to us. The Japanese culture has taken admiration of natural beauty to a level that resembles religious devotion. Hanami, the viewing of Sakura or cherry blossoms is a vibrant example which many regard as a National holiday period know as "Sakura Matsuri" or Cheery Blossom Festival. I have been privileged to enjoy sharing it with them in Hirisaki. One of the best known songs of Japan, Sakura, relates to this tradition.

Nearly everyone has at sometime related "Communing with Nature" to a spiritual experience, which in many respects it is. However an often heard argument the gist of which is "I don't need church - this is how I keep in touch with God" reveals that even the most beautiful things can have a negative side.

In considering that argument two truths pop out at me. First contemplation and admiration of the peaceful, quiet and intricately beautiful aspects of our natural world does not make us good, peaceful, quite, fair, principled, virtious, or likable beings or societies. Many of the worlds most violent and despotic individuals and governments have espoused world views that Honored Nature and respected the environment. Merely having a spiritual experience or orientation or feeling good, does not equate to being Godly. Secondly Christianity is not about us being fulfilled individually, the purpose and vision of the Christian community should be to meet others, with God's love, at the place of their need.

1 comment:

Ellisa said...

I enjoyed reading this...and all your blog. We don't get to talk much about Japan and your time there. Thank you for sharing your tidbits with me.