Building with the Japanese

This morning’s prayer walk took me round the Singapore cricket ground (British Empire Export Exhibit 1) and to the monument in the picture. The four-pillared structure is a memorial to all civilians who died or disappeared during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in the Second World War.
It is right to remember the victims of this and all conflicts. But can we live in hope for true human unity? I think so. The reason? It has to do with the tower to the right of the pillar. That structure is the hotel in which I and many representatives of our churches from around the world are staying. 
Some of them are from Japan. I had a beer with one such Japanese Christian this evening – my good friend Takeshi.  We became friends in Bali three years ago, deepened our friendship on my visit to Tokyo last year, and took things a degree deeper this evening as we talked heart to heart here in Singapore.
It occurs to me that a shameful past (and is there any country on earth that has nothing to be ashamed of in its history) does not prevent a positive future – if there is true reconciliation. I cannot speak for the nations of Japan and Singapore, but I do know that in Christ any people or peoples can be reconciled. Why? Because of this truth, 2Cor. 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
All the world, meaning all peoples in the world, can be one with God because of Jesus, therefore all peoples can be one with each other. Our part is to trust that God’s future is better than man’s past. And to reveal this to the world by living a life of reconciliation.  A heart filled with God’s grace will make this a reality for all who will claim it.  I wonder if beer helps too? I must experiment some more tomorrow night.
Have a wonderful day, and God bless.
Malcolm

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