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Christmas Devotional // Japan

Christmas in Japan
Countries all around the world celebrate Christmas—but they don’t always know what it’s about.

What is Christmas?
Christmas celebrates Jesus’ birthday. This is a special time because Jesus came down to earth to rescue us. We are all sinners, and because we’ve broken God’s law, we should go to Hell when we die. We aren’t good enough to go to Heaven ourselves.

But Jesus came to earth. He spent time teaching us so we could know more about God. And then He died on the cross to pay for our sins, taking our punishment, so that if we trust in Him, we can go to Heaven to be with Him when we die.

Jesus coming to rescue us is the very best gift we could ever receive! So to celebrate, we made the holiday of Christmas. We decorate and have lights and give each other presents to remind us of the greatest present we’ve been given.

But what’s sad is that in some parts of the world, like Japan, people don’t understand what Christmas is. They don’t realize that Jesus is a present for us!

Why do we celebrate Christmas?
What is your favorite part of Christmas?
What does your family do for Christmas that reminds you of Jesus?

What is Christmas like in Japan?
For Christmas, millions of Japanese pick up a special dinner from Kentucky Fried Chicken to bring home and eat with their families. The dinner, which has become a nation-wide tradition, comes with a collectible Christmas plate that can be used to decorate or serve food later. They also frequently get a Christmas cake to have with their dinner.

There aren’t many Christmas trees or lights in Japan. Do you know why? There are so many people in Japan, and their houses are so small, that they don’t have much room for Christmas trees.

Japanese people know who Santa Claus is. But a lot of them don’t know who Jesus is! Isn’t that sad?

Why aren’t there many Christmas trees in Japanese homes?
Do the Japanese know who Jesus is?
If you met someone from Japan, what would you tell them about Christmas?

How should we pray for Japan at Christmas time?
Since people in Japan don’t know Jesus, a lot of them are very sad. They feel lonely because Jesus isn’t their friend and He hasn’t rescued them from their sin. They don’t know that Christmas is about Jesus’ birthday, so they can’t celebrate with joy like we can.

Pray that God will rescue the people of Japan and let them know His Son Jesus. Pray that our missionaries can talk to the Japanese about Jesus so they can be rescued and have joy and peace.

How should we pray for Japan?
What is your prayer for the Japanese today?