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  • Writer's pictureChristensen

Easter in the Land of the Morning Calm

Calm. The sun was shining brightly, and there were birds chirping away among the newly-bloomed flowers. That's probably a bit of what it looked like when Jesus rose from the dead two thousand years ago, and that is how it was yesterday when I was heading to the subway for the Easter celebration at my church.

For good for bad, Korea really doesn't celebrate Easter. The Easter bunny and egg hunts are replaced by boiled eggs. Yes, you read that right. Boiled eggs, which are handed out by church members as a form of evangelism and advertisements for their churches. In Korea, it is actually hard to find white eggs as brown eggs dominate here, so the eggs are not colored in the way that I did when I was a kid. No, they have these shrink-wrap plastic bands that have crucifixes, sayings in Korean and so forth. Though, this Sunday, even those were missing because of the air pollution. There was nothing on my way to the subway to tell me that it was a holiday.

The celebrations are so rare that I don't even know the word for Easter in Korean!

I got to church early. These days, I'm on the media team, which means I have to get to church early in order to set up all of the sound and just make sure the mics are working and such. Honestly, it is stressful! The sound board is used by the hotel that our church meets in, and the cables are wrapped by inexperienced hotel workers. In fact, when I came into the "sanctuary" (meeting room), I cringed as the hotel worker was wrapping up the cable using his elbow (for all those who have worked for theatre tech, you probably understand what I'm talking about). Just like with many aspects of the "behind the scenes" work, people do not notice the good job you do when everything goes as planned. They only notice how you messed up...even if it really wasn't your fault.

Though, I digress. You wanted to know about Easter in South Korea. My apologies.

I only mention the above because, even though my church did have Easter decorations, I really didn't notice them. I can't even tell you what they had! Maybe these birds' nests with peanut M&Ms? Maybe an Easter photo booth? I really don't know. I was in a tunnel. I was focused. I had a job to do.

And once the service finished, I had to tear down the sound. I was focused once again. And in their rush to set up the lunch tables, someone had torn up the camera cable and piled it near the sound board. Annoying! It took me many times longer to get the gaffers tape off it.

But that was my Easter. It really wasn't different from any other Sunday. Yes, the sermon was great (thank you, Joel). Yes, the kebabs for lunch were great. I didn't even eat dinner because of the two and a half plates (the half plate was a dessert plate)! :) So, that part was different. Great lunch!

But my church occasionally has a lunch after the service.

So, if you were wondering what we do for Easter here in South Korea, I gotta answer that we really don't do much. There was a Good Friday service, but my wife and I had to miss that because her pregnancy is causing her hip to hurt (prayer request). So, it was...just a Sunday.

Maybe I should pause today as I walk back home. Smell the flowers. And think of the joy that I have because of the hope we all have in Jesus. Sadly, I didn't do that yesterday.

I love the blooming flowers! So, a slow walk home will be a joy.

PS: The pic of the brownies and vanilla ice cream below had nothing to do with Easter except for the reason that I made it for my wife last night. ;)

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