At 634m, the Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world, but it has also been called the tallest “Christmas tree.” The gigantic tower displays a spectacular five-color illumination with its 2,000 LED lights.
The primary purpose of the tower is to broadcast TV signals without interference from skyscrapers. The tower’s construction took nearly four years and cost 65 billion yen or about 600 million USD.
It is claimed that the tower can withstand an earthquake as powerful as the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. The Skytree was in the midst of construction during the 2011 triple disaster in Japan. Like the old Tokyo Tower was a sign of “resurrection hope” after the massive destruction of WW2, so it was hoped that the Skytree would bring new hope to the nation that was shaken by the events of March 2011.
“Come, let us Build ourselves a Tower”
The human ambition to build towers that reach the sky are as old as civilization (see Genesis 11). The motives behind building tall towers now days are not all too different to those in Babel. The Babel enterprise was about uniting the nation, national pride, and making a name for oneself. Their technology and social unity gave them confidence that there will hardly be any limits to progress.
The human aspiration to become like the gods is as old as humanity. History repeats itself. After the fall of Babel, one empire after the other rose. They all aspired to unite the “world under their flag,” to create a better world, to become greater and more powerful, making a name for themselves.
The Ultimate Gift
Millions travel to see Japan’s technological achievement and marvel at it. Little do most of these visitors realize that a much greater building project is on the way.
Under the leadership of the master builder, millions of living stones, people from every tribe and language, are united under one Name. The Spirit of Christ unites them.
This building project is not like “Skytrees” which lure us into trusting in human achievements. Rather, it is about the “Tree of life.”
Christmas is not about reaching the heavens, but about the heavens coming down in the shape of a vulnerable baby. In the time of Babel, the Lord came down to see the work of mortals; on Christmas, he came down to save, to unite, and to build up mortals. “Joy to the World! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!”
May Christians in Japan this Christmas shine for Jesus as he is building his church in this country.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that Christians in Japan will shine for Jesus this Christmas.
- Pray that God would build his church in Japan.
- Pray that Japan would find its hope in God, not in a tall tower.