For Asian-Pacific Heritage month I have been posting on facebook various you-tube videos that remind me of aspects of my heritage as it relates to my growing up. Included is the band Hiroshima, Mustard Seed faith, my mom’s restaurant menu cover, Zatoichi and various others. I also posted a short clip of the Obon Festival held at the Midwest Buddhist Temple in which I attended in my high school years. I smiled looking at so many people doing the obon line dane (laughing particularly at those who didn’t know what they were doing but having a great time).

Then a though came to me. I have had this thought for a long time since becoming a Christian. That is I wished my church would dance. I attended a Japanese Christian church when I first started following Christ and was sad at the lack of things that were Japanese such as the obon dance. I am still sad that we don’t do something like that and just dance. Don’t we who have the blessed hope have the most reason to – to dance?

I introduced Resisting Grace with this story of my daughter: “One particular Sunday when my daughter, Joelle, was three years old, we visited a church where I was a guest speaking that morning. As the worship leader started to play a song that Joelle was familiar with, she pulled me out into the aisle and proceeded to dance to the music, which she had done many times at our home church. Being a father who wants to encourage freedom in worship and bless her in her expressions, I proceeded to join her in the dance. Trust me, she looked cute, though I…well, I am not blessed with any dancing abilities. As the song progressed, she looked around and noticed everyone else around her in the pews. No one else was dancing. No one else was even moving—they were stiff as boards. Joelle paused. She became self-conscious, stopped dancing, and slowly returned to her pew. She no longer danced. She simply fit in and did what everyone else did—nothing at all. Sad to say, this is a part of the developing brokenness every child grows into in our fallen world.”

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, … Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.” (Jeremiah 31:3-4)

Let’s dance.

obon

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