Japan’s Reformers

Better known as Halloween, last week was Reformation Day (Oct 31st). Sadly, we hadn’t thought ahead well enough to do much to celebrate the day. But my missionary friend, Chris, said that his church had a get-together that Sunday. Just for some fun for the children, his wife did some face painting for their sons and offered to do it for other children in the church. Apparently, in Japan they’re not familiar with the idea of face-painting as they were slightly bemused; why paint your children’s faces? “Oh, its something to do with that pumpkin festival, isn’t it… what’s it called, Halloween?” NO!!

I doubt there are many Japanese who know what Halloween is about (I don’t think many in the West know where it came from), but there were still Halloween decorations up in the shops and Halloween paraphernalia for sale since some time in September. Since the start of November, Christmas decorations have been put up in their place, but that’s another story…

That church has actually been having some teaching in their adult Sunday school about the European Reformation, Luther, Henry VIII etc. Wouldn’t it be great to replace all the meaningless Halloween frivolities with something like reenactments of Luther’s conversion or life-work? (My conscience tells me I must attribute that idea to one of my old Bible college lecturers, Garry Williams!)


Japan's Reformers!?!

Just down the road from us, there’s a building which was being renovated. Funnily enough, I think it’s a renovation company! I was struck by the writing on the side of the van that is often parked outside the building: ‘Reformer’. It actually comes from the Japanese word for renovations which is a Japanized form of the word ‘reform’.


But wouldn’t it be great if Japan had more Reformers (of the Luther kind, rather than the redecorating kind!)?! Wouldn’t it be great if more Japanese would reform the church through the powerful gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone? How exciting it’d be to see that church reform Japan’s culture and society, economically, politically, educationally, spiritually…

I know a few who are praying that for the UK. Will you pray that for Japan too? For God’s glory alone.



4 thoughts on “Japan’s Reformers

  1. The other way to celebrate an “alternative” halloween is to hold an “All Saints” party, where people come in costumes representing a famous past Christian hero. 31 October is the Eve of All Hallows (all saints’ day, 1 November), that’s where the name “hallow-e’en” comes from.. so never mind the “een” just focus on the “hallows”!


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