Ted and Janey Zimmerman are ELCA missionaries in Hong Kong. To support the Zimmermans, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
Members of Ping An Tang (Peace Lutheran Church) worshiping in a third-floor apartment every Sunday read together Luke 2:17. In response, on Christmas Eve they plan to go to Hong Kong’s famous Star Ferry Pier and “spread the word concerning what has been told to them about this child (Jesus).” Even the youngest children will go with their parents after Christmas Eve services to sing together and share with strangers the joyful story of Jesus come to earth for us. It is an adventure indeed!
Christmas morning, the families will come again to church with the children weary from being out so late but happy that they are fulfilling their shared understanding of God’s word.
Our own family will not go along to the Star Ferry Pier. After services, we will come back to our own apartment and share our special traditions with our beloved family. Perhaps it is our daughter-in-law who grew up in China who loves our Christmas traditions the most! She never had toys as a child and is delighted with Christmas gifts — and now toys for their child, our granddaughter.
We missionaries live on the periphery of cultures keeping what is special to us, yet respecting and rejoicing in the differing perspectives and responses to our common faith. It is our common faith that is deepest and joins us all here in Hong Kong with you all, making it a small world indeed.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14.
May the hope of Christmas give you peace and joy,
Janey and Ted Zimmerman