Taiwan Church News
Jan 4 – 10, 2016
Look For The Real “Peace”
On 15th December 2015, the ancient Chinese character “An”, meaning peace, chosen by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation(JKATF), was announced as the 2015 kanji of the year at one of the three most famous temples in Japan – Kymizutera Temple in Kyoto. After JKATF’s naming of “Zeii”, meaning tax, as the 2014 kanji of the year, many people predicted “Hen”, meaning change, might be awarded the 2015 kanji of the year as there were so many incredible changes happened in 2015. However, after a whole year’s ups and downs, the Japanese people chose “An” as the most characteristic symbol of the year 2015. Facing all kinds of anxieties, the political insecurity under the shadow of Abe administration’s package of national security bills, the anxiety of personal safety threatened by international terrorism, extreme weather conditions caused by global warming and all kinds of social-economic insecurities in their daily lives, the Japanese people finally chose “An” expressing their peaceful wish for their country in 2015 in commemoration of the 70th year after World War II.
Retrieving 2015, peace is not only the sincere wish of the Japanese people, the Taiwanese people also aspire to have such a blessing. It is because the Taiwan society, under the ruling of Ma Ying-jeu administration, felt deeply insecure in a comprehensive dimensions, be it political, economical, social, juridical and civil concerns. This ineffective ruling of Ma administration disappoints the youth especially, so Taiwan society wish to see the change happened in the 2016 election. In the 2016 election of the president and lawmakers, one of the wide-ranging common thoughts is to break the majority ruling of KMT in the legislative yuan and meet the basic demands of Taiwan’s civil society: congress reformation and transformative justice.
It is interesting that the 2015 kanji is finally named as “An”, instead of the original predicted character as “Hen”. It deserves us a further thinking, if “Hen” is picked, what kinds of change in Taiwan were urgently demand? If we just want KMT’s majority ruling to be overturned and no more, then we might still be disappointed about the banal politics. Christian faith admonishes us to be strong and not fear, when we are situated in an era of change, looking prudentially for the real “peace”. The real peace in the Christian faith is Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and his greetings to his panic disciples: “Peace unto you!”. Such kind of peace is a resilient life confronting harsh humiliations, sustaining bodily sufferings and demonstrating tolerance and love in spirits. Daring to suffer and sacrifice, yet avoiding an easy solution of “miracles can say it all”, this kind of peace insists to tell the story in love and suffering and stand by the suffered people. In this very moment of Taiwan’s transition, seeing the pains and cryings of our people, our home land, the extreme climate changes and our helpless mother earth, should we not learn from Jesus again to take up our responsibility and act our part as a citizen in Taiwan society and even in the global world? But we have to be clear in mind, this is not a path of glory but a road full of bumps and holes.
When our people earnestly expect the peace to come, should we like the false prophets say peace to them just verbally while maneuvering our interests or contesting the powers in our implicit calculation. Or, should we follow Jesus’ teachings and actions, willing to be united as one and being the loyal servant to serve our church and society? If the “An”(peace) we look for is verbal and explicit only, we will soon get lost to have real faith and hope. If the foundation we try to set up is the real “An” in Christ, though it might be difficult at the very beginning, yet it can bring us the real peace which is solid, anchored, hopeful and filled with joy!