December 16, 2011 — About 60 people gathered at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich., this December to celebrate Christmas with customs from their countries of origin: Chile, Burma, Honduras, India, Argentina, and Micronesia. The event was called Christmas Around the World.
Members of Faith CRC celebrate Christmas around the world.
After prayer in both English and Spanish, a crowd of people marched around the church singing a song in Spanish (“Villancico para pedir posada”) asking for a room at the inn. Half of the crowd gathered on one side of the door with a guitar player; voices joined in harmony, they asked if there was any room for them at the inn. On the other side of the door, the rest responded in song that there was not, until finally the crowd reached a door where they entered in with joy.
In Mexico, neighbors walk down their streets singing this song each evening the eight days before Christmas in a reenactment of the Joseph and Mary story.
This was just one of the many cultural Christmas traditions from around the world shared that evening. Others included Christmas songs from Burma and Honduras, Bible verses spoken in many languages, the history and culture of India, Dutch wooden shoes—and, of course, ethnic food, potluck style.
Organized by Rev. Enrique Gomez, pastor of Hispanic ministries at Faith, and his wife, Febe, the event was the fourth of its kind since September.
“Since Faith CRC is becoming more diverse, we have been looking for opportunities to fellowship with one another,” said Febe. One of those ways has been through events surrounding meals, including a Thanksgiving dinner and two breakfasts.
“We have been seeing friendships forming and many people getting together in their homes during the week to exchange English and Spanish lessons,” said Febe. “We just want to celebrate the fact that among the diversity, there is still unity in Christ.”