Last Sunday afternoon Nancy and I enjoyed a totally unique experience. Remember I used the word “enjoyed”. We observed our first Chinese funeral. Yes, we enjoyed a funeral ! Of course, what contributed was that the woman who had passed is now in heaven but beyond that what made the experience enjoyable was the pleasantness of the people, the love they evidenced for the Lord, seeing how they do things at such a time, and the respect shown us as an American Christian couple.
Our daughter has been to China on a missions trip and so we learned much more through her about the ways of the Chinese. The first couple here at Penn State I had the privilege to lead to Christ did the news nationally in mainland China and were here for post-doctoral work. So we’re somewhat acquainted with how the Chinese think and act. But this was truly an experience that God used to touch my heart. After the funeral we were shown great respect and as we watched each person bow three times as they came to the open casket, we were extended similar respect by these folks in how they spoke to us and even in how they looked at us. One older Chinese woman barely looked at me in great humility but once I gave her a big smile she returned it very warmly. As we were about to leave we were each handed a special gift, Chinese cake (similar to our pound cake) and the Chinese pastor who officiated spoke with us. His love for the Lord and genuine joy were obvious.
As we sat and observed everything in the midst of many oriental people and only three other Americans I was gratefeul we had an intepreter behind us to hear what everyone who spoke said and enjoy the different but good hymns. I appreciated the kindness of the grandson, who in his remarks, spoke English then Chinese, for us. All in all I thought, these are my siblings in Christ, despite ethnic differences. We are one in Him. No matter where they have been born we are here together and the common bond of Christ is there and its enjoyable to behold. Despite what family or land we have been born in, in Christ we have ALL been born again ! “For ye are all the children of God BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. . .there is neither Jew nor Greek. . .ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal.3:26-28).
I could get used to hanging out more and more with people who are considerate, loving, show respect and love the Lord. Ya know what? You and I WILL ENJOY these things throughout all eternity ! If your day gets a little tough and people are a tad rude today just remember as a person who has put their faith, as Paul wrote, IN CHRIST JESUS, you are headed to some truly ENJOYABLE days ahead !!
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