On the 16th of last month, an ordination of the two candidates for the Holy Orders, Reiko Yamato and Takaaki Yamato, was held. According to the Acts of Apostles, deacon is a duty which arose from food distribution problems. Greek-speaking Jewish Christians complained to Hebrew-speaking Jewish Christians about the less amount of food being distributed to the widows of their companions. The post of the deacon was placed to deal with this problem. How to equally distribute food. That was the immediate task of a deacon. It was an extremely realistic duty.
That reminds me of the story of “Taikobo” posted on a certain information magazine in Ueda City. According to the Chinese story, back when Zhou, the King of China, was talking to one old fisherman of extreme erudition, the King realized that this man indeed was who his father, King Taiko, had looked forward to meeting someday. Therefore, he called him “Taikobo” (Taiko=the name of the King’s father; bo=look forward to), his teacher, and respected the man. Since then, a person who fishes is called “Taikobo.”
However, it is said there is another story to the history of Taikobo that he was a butcher. Watching him carve and serve meat to about ten people, Taiko was very pleased and employed him. In those days, a cook who can properly distribute meat was much respected.
Considering that the origin of deacons come from how fairly food was shared, it is quite interesting that the story overlaps with the that of Taikobo as a cook. Regardless of food, it is quite difficult to maintain fairness, especially among people, if anything. I hope the two newly ordained deacons be filled with “spirit and wisdom” as were the first deacons and be able to sufficiently fulfill their important duties.
The Rt Revd Peter Ichiro Shibusawa