Our gift from China at Christmas

We have a special gift with us this Christmas.  Vanessa Liu, our daughter’s Chinese roommate at OSU, has come to stay over the holidays,Rene & Vanessa at Christmas 2008 and in only a few days she has become dear to our hearts.  (Here she is with Rene, her friend from OSU who brought her down.)  We talk about China & America, the ways our two cultures are different or the same, and why we do all the things we do.  She has been helping clean and decorate some, she went to the ornament exchange with the CPC ladies Mon. night, and yesterday she had fun feeding the chickens.  She will join us in gift giving and receiving on Christmas day, and be at a big family dinner this Sat.  Though she doesn’t understand much of it, she has also joined us in corporate & family worship.

This Sun. evening past we had a wonderful family worship, where we joined together to share the gospel and our testimonies through reading and explaining the story of Mary’s encounter with the angel in Luke.  Vanessa listened intently, had many questions and seemed to want to know more.  The idea that she will live forever (in one place or the other) was a revelation for her– she had never heard that.  Her final comment was, “But Genesis can’t be true- what about evolution?”

Indeed.  An excellent question from a foreigner who is not steeped in the “Christmas culture” of our society.  If Genesis is not true, then Christmas lights and stockings, mangers & stars, friendships and parties, worship and wonder are just … a season, and when January comes we put them on a shelf, safely forgotten until next year.  In a sense, Vanessa’s question is very much about Christmas, and about that other holiday (with the eggs and bunnies).  Islam, Hinduism, Buddism and all the “isms” have their holidays; why is our “baby birthday” any different?  As we explained to Vanessa, it’s because the Baby is also the Lion of Judah, begotten before time began, slain since the foundation of the world, no longer in a manger but now wrapped in the emerald bow of glory, seated on the judgment throne (Rev. 4,5).

WreathNext week we hope to take Vanessa to the Creation Museum near Cincinnati.   There she can see exhibits, talk to scientists and perhaps find answers to her important quesitons about Genesis and evolution.  We’ll do an update here to let you know what happened.

Merry Christmas!

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