Hannah and Je together

Monday, 28 November 2016

Punishment and Blessing

During the seminary days, I took some classes like God, Suffering and Evil.  I wanted to take Book of Job but couldn’t.  Though, I’ve got the professor’s brief lecture.  Well, I learned that not all bad things are punishment of what you did, and not all good things are reward of what you did.  Even though I know that thing, I guess it is basic human nature to think that way.

신학교를 다닐 때, 하나님, 고통 그리고 악이라는 수업을 들었다.  욥기 수업을 듣고자 했지만 듣지 못했고, 교수님의 개요 강의만 들었다.  어째든, 모든 나쁜 일이 벌은 아니고 모든 좋은 일이 상인 것은 아니라는 것을 배웠고, 또 그렇게 생각하고 있다.  그럼에도 불구하고 상과 벌로 생각하는 것이 인간의 본성인가 보다.

I remember that one of my friends in college one day came to me that his girlfriend was pregnant.  I just hit his head once and we worried together.  He said it was his first time having sex with his girlfriend.  And now, I am married for almost five years and all attempts to have a baby were not successful so far.

예전에 대학 다닐 때 친구 한 명이 여자친구가 임신했다고 찾아왔다.  한대 치고는 같이 걱정을 했었다.  친구 말로는 여자친구랑 처음 섹스해밨다고 한다.  그리고 지금 나는, 결혼 거의 5년차 되어 가는데 임신을 하고자 했던 모든 시도가 현재까지는 실패했다.

The other day I found myself thinking of my friend, “What had he done so good that he was blessed so much, having a baby?”  And about myself, “What have I done so wrong that I am getting this punishment, not getting a baby?”

얼마전에 문득 정신을 차려보니 이렇게 생각하고 있었다:  그 친구는 뭘 얼마나 잘했길래 원샷에 애가 생기는 축복을 받았을까?  그리고 나는 뭘 그렇게 잘못했길래 이렇게 애가 안생기는 벌을 받는 것일까?

Well, I cannot tell exactly what God has in mind.  But I just wish that this is not some kind of punishment.

내가 하나님의 심중을 정확히 아는 것이 아니기 때문에 알 수가 없지만, 다만 지금 내 처지가 하나님의 벌이 아니길 바랄 뿐이다.

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Forty Sixth Day – Sunday Service at Palestinian Greek Orthodox Church

Today I went to Greek Orthodox Church in Beit Sahour with my hostess lady.  The service was from 7am, but we left home at 7:05.  And we went there less than 10 minutes, mostly because Beit Sahour is very small town.

Paintings in Narthex

Paintings in Narthex

In the narthex, there were four pictures.  I recognised the two which are Jesus Christ and St. Mary.  And almost everybody stopped at those pictures and bowed and kissed them.

Candle Light

Candle Light

And at the corner of Narthex, there is a place where you can light the candle.  I also did one.

Blessing, blessing

Blessing, blessing

Throughout the service, people went to the front of the right corner by family.  And they bend their back and bowed before the priest.  And women must cover their heads with scarves.  Then the priest cover everybody with a clothe like towel.  And he crossed over their heads, and blessed them.  Then he finished with another making cross over their heads.  He uncovered the towel, and fed them with wine and bread.  It looks like a small communion but it is not a communion.  And not everybody goes there.

Kissing the Bible

Kissing the Bible

The actual service begins about 8:15.  Then what we were doing until then?  I was told that it was preparing the service by asking God the permission of service, and blessing.

The priest took the golden Bible, and the guys went to the front and kissed the Bible.  Then the priest came to the middle of the hallway.  And the ladies went and kissed.

Light up the Church!

Light up the Church!

Then the all lights were turned on even Christmas decorations (in the back side door).

Choir seat

Choir seat

The choir was upstairs.

First Procession

First Procession

And there was a procession.  The boys carry two candles, and two symbols, and a cross.  Then the priests carry the Bible.  I heard that the two symbols which go before the cross means John the Baptist, preparing the way of the Lord.

Men and Women should not seat together

Men and Women should not seat together

Most Jewish synagogues in Israel have separate rooms for men and women.  The churches do not have such things.  All men and women worship God together.  But if you look at the picture, all men are sitting on the front pews, while all ladies sitting behind them.  Because I went with my hosting lady, I was at the back, and almost everybody looked at me and their eyes were like saying what the hack is wrong with me.

Second Procession

Second Procession

Almost at the end of the service, there was another procession.  And during the procession, people kissed the relics, bible or kissed their finger and stretched their finger towards the relics.

Offering is Universal

Offering is Universal

The offering system is not much different from the Presbyterian or any other Protestant churches in North America.

Sharing the bread, but not communion

Sharing the bread, but not communion

Then a guy was distributing chunk of bread to the people, and also many (aged) ladies brought their own breads and distributed to the nearby people.  I thought this is the communion, but again, it was not.  They said this is the “holiness of bread.”  They said it is for blessing, because not everybody can join the communion.

This is communion

This is communion

Then the real communion was at the very end of the service.  People lined up, and went to the front.  The priests blessed the wine and bread, and distributed one by one.  Just as I was told a minute ago, not everybody went up.  I don’t know what is the rule of the communion, but I did not go up as well because I did not want to break any possible rule there.

The service lasted three hours.  It was very different from typical Presbyterian or any other Protestant worship service.  If I had understood Arabic, it would have been better and exciting.  there was lots of singing by the cantors.  And the cantors were on both sides of the holy place (or stage), because they said someone in the Bible or in their legend saw heaven, and saw the angels singing in the left and right of the throne.

It was very interesting experience.

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