Friday, December 11, 2009

Kanji of the year

Every December in Japan a character in the Japanese language is chosen to represent the kanji of the year. Today was the day for the result for this year and the character for 'new' emerged as the one to represent 2009. This has been a year of things new in Japan, not least with the election of the DPJ to form a new government after around 50 years (except for one short period) of the LDP being in power. A number of new systems were introduced concerning such diverse matters as payment on expressways and juries in court cases. Well-known Japanese athletes set new sporting records. And the arrival of H1N1 saw it given the name 'new flu'! So 'new' it is for 2009. The announcement of the character of the year is always made in December and so often it is a word or idea that can be used as a launching pad for a message at Christmas services or other events. Our young believer Sambi will be baptised on the 20th during our first ever Hiragishi Christmas worship. New birth, new life, new creation - the ideas for the message are already coming fast. And we hope many new guests will come that day, for some their first ever time in a church. May that be the beginning of a new journey for them.

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