Shan-Tai prayer month, day 30
In Shan Buddhist traditions the body of a deceased person is cremated and crowds of people attend the service, the size of the crowd is thought to indicate how good the person was in life. For Shan Christians there is uncertainty as to how to honour God, honour the deceased, and avoid embracing specifically Buddhist practices. The answer is certainly not to simply adopt foreign funeral practices because this can create alienation from the very Shan people the Church is trying to reach. Sensitive and sensible wisdom is required to decide upon appropriate Christian answers to this and many other questions about incarnation of the Gospel message in a manner that is in fitting with Shan culture.
As we say goodbye to this 30 days of prayer for the Shan, I hope some will continue to pray for these people who are under pressure and hardships. I have found this journey very illuminating, humbling and satisfying as I at least offer my prayers for these people who are loved by God and made in His image.
- Shan Christian’s primary identity to lie with Christ and not their culture (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- The church to be sensitive to Shan social norms as it reaches out to the Shan with the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:22).