Anime Today: Worshiping Bishamon

I’ll be covering Anime Today as our normal columnist, Japes, takes a break to deal with, you know, real life.

I was not a fan of season one of Noragami. The anime-only ending really killed it for me – it felt so patchwork and underwhelming and, well, “anime only” that it left me with bitter feelings toward the series.

art by ox-miruku | reprinted w/permission

Season two, however, have been an entirely different story. Noragami’s first real arc, as I would call it, has been captivating and thrilling.

One thing I’ve liked is that much of the focus has shifted toward characters other than our core group, such as Kazuma. He was already in an interesting chracter in season one, walking the line between being Bishamon’s right-hand shiki and betraying her trust. He’s also a likeable character, and primarily for one reason – his devotion to his god, Bishamon.

In the early episodes of Noragami Aragoto, we see Kazuma’s care for Bishamon. He goes to extreme lengths to protect her, troubling the other shiki by having them inspected thoroughly at the first sign that Bishamon is blighted. And in episode three, after he’s been exiled by his master, we see Kazuma’s value even further when it’s remarked that he’s much more than a weapon – he does countless things in the service of Bishamon.

Kazuma understands something very important – being in Bishamon’s “family” is more being given a name and a role. It’s full dedication – a lifestyle. To love and worship their god is to submit to her fully. It’s to serve her in everything you do.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

– Romans 12:1

The Christian life is the same. Just because we speak Jesus on our lips, just because we claim the name “Christian” as a child of God, doesn’t mean we’re worshiping our LORD.  Nor is worship limited to singing songs on Sunday or spending time with other believers. Worship is about service and sacrifice – it’s about giving everything to God:

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

– 1 Cor 10:31

Knowing who God is and what He’s done should stir our souls; it should cause us to lose ourselves and take on him, to live a life of praise and servitude to the only one who deserves it. Like Kazuma dedicates his whole existence to Bishamon, we as servants of the most high should do the same – our lives are not our own, but are His alone.

It’s then, when we live a life surrendered, that we can offer true worship to God, when we can give him what it is he really wants of us – our hearts.

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