The Alpha and Omega, both the beginning and the end. The crosses, the 26 men and boys who were crucified for their unwillingness to renounce faith in Christ as God. 1597, Nagasaki, Japan.
Some heavy savoring today.
This is a city that has been reborn again and again. With rebirth comes the newness and excitement of birth, but leaves also the heaviness and sorrow of death. Its history is layered with prosperity and oppression, creation and destruction, inclusivity and exile, acceptance and fear. And each time the pendulum has swung, death or birth has begun.
More recent history is well known. War. Nuclear annihilation. Death. Horrid tragic death. Slow recovery and rebuilding, to an again thriving port city. Rebirth.
But this city’s story is both richer and darker, and so much more complex, than the overshadow of the bomb on its name. The first in Japan to invite the influence and people of the outside world. Trade. Ideas. Perspective. Then, gripped by fear, it was all reversed. Exile. Crucifixion. Death.
These 26 were among the 250,000 who were executed for their lives lived to honor God. The rest worshipped in exile or in private. The city turned inward. Darkness and fear ruled. Until almost 300 years passed, new rule and new freedom began to emerge again. They embraced an openness to the different and the outside.
And the newness emerged again. Ideas. People. Love. Prosperity. Rebirth.
[To see what this 70 days of Snap and Savor is all about, see Day 1.]