It was a simple sermon. There was no lexical study of Greek words or complicated philosophical extrapolation of deep theology. It was a simple story of the Magis found in the Book of Matthew the second chapter. I spiced it up with a lots of pictures of our time in Illinois, around the Christmas tree with Grandpa and Grandma. I also included pictures of lechon and noche buena from my time in the Philippines. I just wanted to point out that the example of the Magis, their crossing of many different cultures and boundaries, encourages us to have cross cultural practices in our Christmas celebrations. I wanted my Taiwanese brothers and sisters here at the seminary to seriously consider introducing Christmas traditions to their homes, traditions that reflect not only the meaning of Christmas (God's love and salvation for all sinners) but also the form of Christmas (God beckoning us to cross cultures and to understand that His salvation is for all people). It was a very down to earth presentation.
At the end, I asked a few students to read Psalms 67 in different languages, and to some in their mother tongue. As we all listened to the reading of God's word in Bahasa Indonesia, Korean, English, and Filipino, we were blown away by the power of God's word. Truly God's salvation is for all the nations (Psalms 67:2). Hearing it in many different languages other than Chinese made the cross cultural message come alive in meaningful ways. The Holy Spirit took something simple and transformed it into a very moving and powerful message. He took control of our chapel service.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that I spoke at our seminary chapel? This was my second time to speak at chapel in Chinese. I am glad it was a simple sermon because then, I felt at ease speaking in simple Chinese, not the Theological or more formal Chinese. Most of all, I am grateful to the Holy Spirit for taking over, and taking all my words, my photos, my stories, my illustrations, and transforming them to become His very own. To God be the glory!