This student wrote a paper about visiting a church for a class assignment for English 2. Alicia lives in Korea and attended Sogang University, the Jesuit school where I taught.
One day, I read an article about religion and there is a statistical data (Korean Journal, 2006) which is showed that more than fifteen hundred million people in the world believe in Jesus include Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and so on. Also In Korea, there are so many people who believe in Jesus. And my family members except me and my younger brother also go to church in every Sunday. So I decide to go to church for my ‘mix it up’ day in this Sunday.
Actually, my parents, conservative and truthworthy, always said “If you believe in Jesus, you can go heaven after you die. So we want you to go to church.” But strangely, since I was young, I have never believed about Gods existence. Because I believed only what can be proven scientifically. So stories about God and the Bible felt like a fairy tale to me. And also I didn’t like people who believe in God. Although there are so many good people who have helped needy neighbors and prayed for other people not only for themselves, but some of them only care about themselves. By spending great amount of money, they built a splendid, grand church, for example. But I think, with that money they could help other people who suffered from pain.
Anyway, this Sunday November 19th, I went to church with my family. There were three ways to worship God; a prayer, a psalm, a sermon. We offered prayers about four times, first just before worship, second and third in the middle of worship, last just after worship. The Reverend prayed with a resonant sound. They were about our welfare and wish to greet other people to believers. And we chanted many psalms. Of course, I couldn’t sing together with other people because I didn’t know most of the songs. But I could hum only one song named ‘If we believe in God’. When I was young, this song was popular for having easy melody to sing regardless of religion. All psalms which we sang were all about the greatness and glory of God. And more than half of worship time is formed by the Reverend’s sermon. It was an explanation about the Bible why Jesus had to do that at that time and also why we have to believe him. Frankly, I couldn’t stop dozing because, to me, it was so boring and tired. After all church service was ended, we ate lunch there. After every morning service is finished, delicious lunch is prepared for believers. It was yummy!
Although I went to church only for my ‘mix it up’ day homework, I think it was good experience. I could see what believers do and feel their strong belief to God. And also I could understand people who want to rely upon God because of the rigors of life. Believing in God is able to become a support of spirit. So, I decide not to see Christian church and believers only with unfairly prejudice view like before. And also I think, It is good to have religious belief not only Christianity but also other religions like Buddhism.
Jason Park (2006), ‘Religion map of America is changing’, Korean Journal (www.kjol.com)