Easter is here…

Every year we Christians celebrate Easter of course, that’s not news. For me personally this year Easter seems to come closer as usual, and I think it is for several reasons.

  1. We celebrate our first Easter in the Ukraine since 1996 and in between we’ve been celebrating in Azerbaijan and lately in Sweden. In Azerbaijan, for understandable reasons having a predominantly Muslim populated nation, Easter is standing in the shadow of Novrus Bayram, the Spring festival and other national holidays and therefore it’s not that exposed in society
  2. Easter in Sweden has been ‘kidnapped’ by secular, commercial powers where consuming is the new religion, consume candy, food and spirits (if not a believer) and the society has more and more in its exposure leaning over to that side.

Here in the Ukraine Easter is until this day a religious holiday, saturating whole of society, of course eating and drinking is abundant here as well but the message of Easter is still very open and exposed. So here in Kharkov Easter is felt in society as a whole and it’s exciting. For us evangelicals it’s a golden opportunity to celebrate and share the very central message of Easter this period of the year. We have gone through a period of fasting and praying this pasted week and the Lord had really touched me and the whole church I can say. We finished by celebrating communion Thursday evening, nearly a 100 people participated, considering being 3-400 in the church, a hundred in a prayer meeting is not bad. The presence of the Lord was so obvious and the Lord gave us a word for the coming period, ‘reconciliation’!!

I will share more about that the coming weeks in the blog and in my messages; I do feel its word in this season, a word for Ukraine and for our church here in Kharkov. On the cross Christ, through His sacrifice, reconciled us with God. We who were in enmity with Him due to our sins and trespasses Christ reconciled, removed the enmity and brought peace between man and God and between man and man. We are living in a time of conflict, great suspicion and distrust and Jesus want to bring reconciliation between us people.

Only Jesus can rebuild trust and faith which without no society or community can prevail and flourish, He has done that before in history and He can do it again. South Africa is an example of a society deeply divided by injustices and prejudice between white and black people. The church, and others, stood up and put an end to fruitless spiral of violence and apartheid bringing forgiveness and reconciliation between the black and white populations. The road was not easy and the price was high, Nelson Mandela, together with many others spend many years in prison for this cause, but finally mercy and grace prevailed and reconciliation made a difference in South Africa. Of course Ukraine doesn’t have apartheid and similar prejudice but still many people are filled with disappointment and discouragement that life didn’t turned out the way they hoped for. I believe those grievances can be healed and restored in our lives when we understand the power of reconciliation, where Easter stands as the strongest shining light proclaiming and carrying the very best example of reconciliation through Christ Jesus.

Let’s pray and believe God for a move of the Holy Spirit towards reconciliation and unification under one flag, standing united and lovingly embracing each other looking at the cross of Christ, taking our example from Him and His sacrifice for us

 

Mats-Jan

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