Christmas in China

Monday, December 13, 2010

Few things in life can compare to the joy of sharing in a worship service with Christians from all over the world. Yesterday, my wife Rebecca, son Phillip, daughter-in-law Katie and I participated in a Christmas service in China. Singing “Joy to the World” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” with Christians from over 30 countries was very moving, as was the pastor’s message on joy – the importance of recognizing that we serve a joyous God.

I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to worship with Christians in Russia, China, Germany, Ethiopia and other countries, as well as at the UN, and experience first-hand the truth of Revelation 7:9, which says: “…a great multitude, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne…”

For me and Rebecca, yesterday’s service was especially poignant, knowing that we would be saying our good-byes to Phillip and Katie right after the service and not see them again until July. Although Rebecca’s tears were a little more free-flowing than mine, I’ll confess to a constant lump in my throat and the occasional use of my handkerchief to wipe away my tears.

Perhaps the most memorable part of yesterday’s service were the children’s choirs, representing many countries. As proud fathers popped up all over the church to get good pictures, I was struck once again by the realization of how similar we all are. Just about every parent in the world wants the same thing – to see their children grow in character, live in peace and freedom, and have the opportunity to flourish.

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