“Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”
Easter is this ole ragamuffin’s most beloved holiday. Recently I was both humbled and convicted reading a historical account where Easter’s resurrection message was acknowledged and fearlessly declared in the face of adversity and certain punishment.
Inspired by Marxist doctrine, Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1923) incited the workers of the world (proletariat) to unite and free themselves from capitalist oppression to create a world run by and for the working class. Vladimir Lenin led a Marxist coup which abolished capitalism and established socialism in Russia. Joseph Stalin followed leading the Communist Party until his death in1953.
Karl Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses.” Stalin stated, “The communist Party must have an anti-religious policy.” They opposed God and all forms of religion.
Anatoly Lunacharsky was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and the Bolshevik Commissar for the Ministry of Education. Shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution he was lecturing to some 7,000 people in Moscow’s largest assembly hall. The Commissar spoke profoundly of the irrefutable logic of science, and the senseless myths of Christianity . . . “the opiate of the masses.”
Finishing his intellectual, arrogant discourse, the Commissar condescendingly asked if there were any in the audience who had anything to add. A twenty-six-year-old, newly ordained Russian Orthodox priest stepped forward, awkwardly apologizing for his ignorance.
The Commissar addressed him scornfully,
“I’ll give you two minutes, no more.”
“I won’t take very long.”, the young priest assured him.
Stepping up to the podium, he turned to the audience and declared in a loud voice,
“Christ is Risen!”
As one, 7,000 people roared in response,
“He is risen indeed!”
Such bold, courageous faith is often seen among the poor, oppressed, and enslaved in our world, but seldom witnessed among the affluent, comfortable, and free? Why?
By the grace of God alone. . .
- I’m a well-off middle-class American, not a lowest stratum caste, destitute dalit in India
- I’m in comfortable, safe surroundings, not huddled in a dark Ukrainian bomb shelter
- I’m free to worship, not confined in a tortuous North Korean prison camp for my faith
The unmerited favor and mercy God has granted me astounds me! I could never begin to offer one iota of recompense for all I’ve been blessed with . . . and I’m not required to . . . my debt was paid-in-full on a blood stained cross 2,000 years ago. The limitless Love of our Abba Father desires only one thing . . . to ‘Pay it Forward’ by “loving Him with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving our neighbor as ourselves” (paraphrased Matthew 22:37-39)
Imagine what our dysfunctional, divided nation and the chaotic world we live in would look like if each of us began to do so. Impossible? Perhaps, but every long journey begins with the first bold, courageous step. This Easter may our gratitude prompt each of us to do so.
“Christ is Risen!”
4 thoughts on “Easter – Pay It Forward”
We written Fred. The urgency of boldness for Christ and the truth of the resurrection should penetrate our hearts and cause us to Keep our feet shod. The most rugged of paths sharing the gospel will not wear our those boots.
Christ is risen HALLELUJAH!!!
Christ is risen indeed!