Monday, December 28, 2009

United by a Common Bond

One of my favorite memories of this Christmas will be the Christmas Eve service at our church. This is the first one we've attended, because we are usually already in Houston. But our worship pastor asked my girl to sing a solo at the service, so we stayed in town and headed to Houston as soon as it was over.

And while my girl's solo is certainly one of the reasons I loved the service, it is by no means the only one.

Several of the families in our church host foreign exchange students. Additionally, our church members represent a variety of nationalities and cultures. While I was aware of this, I hadn't given much thought to it; it's just part of living in a city with high-tech industries and a university.

During the Christmas Eve service, the Christmas story from the book of Luke is always read. This year, however, it was done in a unique and touching way. Our worship pastor read the first verse (in English), and then one after another, the subsequent verses were read in a variety of languages by the folks for whom that is their first or family language. As they walked to the microphone one by one, they read. . . Spanish, French, German, Indian, Hungarian, Mandarin Chinese -- about twelve of them read until the final verse was read in English by a woman from Britain.

As I listened to the familiar story spoken in languages I couldn't understand, I marveled at the fact that such a diverse group of people from so many different backgrounds are united by Christ. It was absolutely beautiful.

We celebrated the birth of the One Who is spoken of in this verse:
And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because You were slain,
and with Your blood You purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9

And for those moments, I had a tiny glimpse of heaven.


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quilly said...

Our church did something similar at Easter. It does make for a powerful and connectional message. We are all one in Christ.

CeeCee said...

Yes indeed! We do the same thing at our church services.

It's nice to live in an international community. The only drawback is we all don't abide by the same driving laws.;) (But that's another story for another time.)

sara said...

we have a Korean church that uses our facilities. They joined us for this year's service and did part of it. It was wonderful hearing familiar hymns in Korean!! I agree, it is wonderful!

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Unknown said...

Amen on the glimpse of heaven!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas :-).

A Stone Gatherer said...

His church, His people, from all nations! What a cool night!