At home the past few years, we have been trying to ponder and think on Easter in advance to prepare our hearts and remind ourselves and our boys how very significant Easter is. It is truly the crux of our faith. It is strange that even as Christians we often celebrate Christmas for weeks and weeks while reserving only a Sunday and maybe Good Friday to reflect and celebrate that He lives and because of that we can now truly live. To aid our celebration and reflection of Easter at home we have a set of resurrection eggs and a book that the boys love to read along with it, children’s bible story books with various version of the Easter story, an Easter ‘He Is Risen’ banner, an annual Easter lily and a wooden cross that sits on the table in the few weeks leading up to Easter. But this year being in Hong Kong with only the suit cases we brought over it was a different sort of Easter. We didn’t have any of those things and we did little in advance to celebrate Easter this year. But somehow I think it will be one we won’t forget! (all of our belongings have not been shipped yet as we aren’t in the apartment where we will live permanently here, that is still in process and we are hoping that it happens sometime in May)
We were invited to attend church with a colleague of Abe’s. Alan and his wife Keziah are from Kenya. He is also a pilot and just started flying with Cathay last year. They were married just over a month ago in Kenya and moved here together in February. They have been attending a small Chinese Christian church in Central Hong Kong. Feeling very pregnant and slow these days I wasn’t sure how up for the ‘trip’ I was. Public transportation is that much more difficult when swollen with child! 🙂 But we took a bus and then the MTR (the subway train) and found our way down a busy street to a small doorway that lead us to “Grace Reformed Evangelical Church”. We walked through a narrow hallway to an elevator and up on the second floor found ourselves in the church. We sat in a separate room in the back with a large glass window where an English translation of the service was running. The congregation was small, probably only 30 people if you included the children. The translation was a bit rough but it was evident that the pastor had a love for God’s Word and that these people did as well. I think the closing hymn was my favorite part of the service. Hymnals were passed out and there were Chinese characters as well as English words under each line of music. It was an incredible thing to sing the words to “And Can It Be that I Should Gain” while hearing those right next to us and in front of us sing the same words in Chinese. I began to imagine the global Church a bit more…the body of Christ raising praises to Him in hundreds of different languages and dialects. So many around the world this day celebrating that “He is Risen”! What a sweet aroma to the Lord.
After the service we shared a meal with the people. It was potluck style, which apparently happens each Sunday after they gather for worship. Abe and I met Pastor Joseph and his wife Deborah. To my surprise they both spoke nearly perfect English. They both went to University abroad years ago and studied in English. We enjoyed conversation over rice, noodles, steamed vegetables, asian chicken wings, bread and even a Western/American type of cake. The boys sat in a side room at a Children’s table. To walk in and see Elliot and Simon sitting next to these adorable little Chinese children all the while using chop sticks was a delight. After we finished our meal and conversations we said goodbyes. We found our way to the MTR and the bus, Graham asleep most of the way. Home again and we rested…the lyrics from the day’s hymn rested in my heart. It was a happy Easter.
“Amazing Love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”
“Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me!”
“My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed thee.”
“Bold I approach the eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own”