In November there is a tradition to take children to the shrine, girls when they are 3 and 7, and boys when they are 3 and 5. It is called “Shichi-Go-San.” It is a rite of passage of sort and the numbers are considered lucky. Christians do not go to the shrine, but our denomination feels it is important to celebrate children and teach a Biblical view of children. Every year during November church’s pick one week to celebrate children and teach from God’s word on children.
At Shiga children of all ages sang during the service and were prayed for by Pastor Aoki. Afterwards children received a small gift from the church and there was a celebration lunch in honor of the children.
“But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:14 ESV
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:1-3 ESV