The holidays were very different this year and yet there was the familiar presence of the Holy Spirit at work in this community. I am so grateful for the members of this church who have welcomed Kate and I and shared their holiday traditions with us. I am most thankful for their love and acceptance, and the hospitality they have shown us. Decorating for Christmas in Seoung Am was similar to our home church – we helped decorate one tree in the entry way of the church and the other tree in the chapel. We hung wreaths and changed the paraments to purple for advent. On Christmas Eve, Reverend and Mrs. Kim invited me for barbeque. After dinner, we walked to Namsan tower – the clean, fresh air and the negative 5 degrees Celsius temperature was perfect for a brisk walk. I felt a sense of peace and calm while walking at night and viewing the lights of the city at the foot of the mountain. It was the first time I saw stars in the night sky in Korea – a beautiful Christmas miracle. Normally, the pollution and the ambient light from the city make it impossible to see any stars. On Christmas day, I went to church at 9:30 to rehearse our songs and then we sang for the church service. After lunch, we visited the neighborhood elders and gave them Christmas gifts and prayed with them. The day after Christmas was spent in church singing. On New Year’s Eve we went to church at 11:30 for evening church service to ring in the new year. On New Year’s Day, Lydia, Kate, and I spent the day with Hyeyoung’s family at her house – we had a wonderful time making dumplings (Mandu, 만두) and then eating the dumpling soup with rice cakes in it (Tteok Mandu Guk, 떡만두국) to wish for a long life. And that is what I pray for – a wonderfully long, productive life in a peaceful world.
2 thoughts on “Love Came Down at Christmas”
Thanks for sharing your Korean Christmas with us. What a cool experience you’re having!
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Dear Grace, Thank you so much for this Christmas update from Seoul! It brings back some of my own happy memories from two visits there on behalf of Princeton Theological Seminary to Young Nak and Muong Sung Presbyterian Churches and to Yonsei University and the Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary among other churches and schools. You are a wonderful ambassador, and please know your home church remembers you regularly in its Sunday intercessions. May the Lord richly bless your time and your ministry in Korea!
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