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At Christmas, A Rebirth

On Christmas Day the Chicago Tribune ran a frontpage story titled, “At Christmas, a rebirth.” The story said, in part:

Su Zhu Yuan thought Americans celebrated Christmas as part of their patriotic duty. Relatives gave gifts. Neighbors prepared feasts. Storefronts in Chinatown advertised sales. But during her eight years in the United States, no one told her the biblical story behind Christmas--until this year. On Sunday, Yuan celebrated the birth of Jesus for the first time by immersing herself in the baptismal waters at Chinese Christian Union Church. She emerged a newborn Christian. “I have peace in my heart and joy,” the 41-year-old seamstress said through a translator. “I’m giving the heavy burdens to Jesus.”

On Sunday, Yuan donned a white gown and with bare feet ascended a narrow staircase to the church's baptismal pool. Gripping the pastor's arm with both hands, she let him plunge her into the water. As she resurfaced, she wiped the water from her face and smiled. She said, “Today is like a holiday. It's like having two Christmases.”

Source: Manya A. Branchear and Andrew L. Wang, “At Christmas, a rebirth,” Chicago Tribune (12-25-07)

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