We are in the thick of celebrations here in Cambodia. Last Tuesday I was awakened at 3:30 am to the sound of the monks chanting and music playing until sunrise. Every morning for 15 days straight the monks will do the same thing and Khmer people will visit the Pagoda's and bring food. Some have likened this celebration to our Christmas.
This is Pchum Ben and Cambodians are paying their respects to their deceased relatives, ancestor worship. Once a year it is believed that the gates of hell open and ghosts of the dead are especially active. The ghosts are more active at night so the monks chant, and the food is given so that they can eat, but also to benefit them in their after life transitions.
Cambodia really makes this a celebration, everyone goes to their home province to spend time with family. You see women walking in their finest clothes to the Pagoda's swinging a food container as they go. Everyone asks how you are going to celebrate, where you are going etc... A break from work, time with family and good food, does sound a bit like Christmas.
There is no comparison...one honors the dead and the deceiver and one honors the Giver of life come to earth to save us from deception. What the enemy of our soul began in the Garden, he continues to do today, and here in Cambodia he is being honored by those who are still being sucked into his deception. The thing with deception is that you don't know it is happening.
My prayer is that the eyes of the hearts of many will be opened to the truth. Not only the truth of the enemy but the Truth that is Jesus Christ. It's why I have come to Cambodia...it is why we share with our neighbors, friends, family and strangers...it is why Jesus has left us on earth, to share Truth. He wants to open the eyes of the blind, set the captives free and He uses us. Deception comes to us all, the deceiver seeks to devour and destroy, not just here in Cambodia but world wide.
We all need Jesus!