You awaken very early in the morning while darkness looms outside. It is the most important day of the Buddhist religion. Along with your family and friends, you journey to the temple. The temple is embellished with flowers. When you arrive, you join in on the singing and chanting of hymns as you await the ascension of the Buddhist flag. After the flag is raised, you lay an offering at the feet of your teacher, who in return teaches you and prays. After this service, you make your way to the altar. In front of the altar stands the statue of Buddha. Here, you participate in the “bathing of Buddha” as you pour a mixture of water and flowers over the image. As you leave the temple, you make sure to engage in good works and deeds. You give to charity. You share food. You give your money away. As the day comes to a close, you eat a meal with your family in your lantern-decorated home. What have you just celebrated? You just took part in the holiday of Vesak.
Vesak is celebrated by millions of Buddhists worldwide. Buddhists believe that it was on this day, of different years, that the Buddha was born, enlightened, and died. The festival is taken very seriously, as they commemorate the life of Siddhartha Gautama. This is deeply saddening.
They put their hope in a mortal man who lived and died. They believe that it was he who found the meaning of life. But they have never heard of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who not only created the world but lived as a man, died, and rose again! They have never heard of the One who is life and offers everlasting life! They have never heard of the finished work Christ accomplished on the cross for their sins, and the new creation they can be in Him. Please pray that more laborers would be sent to share the truth of the gospel with the Buddhists, so that they can find life and have it more abundantly.