Celebrating Easter Across the Globe
In Canada, we have a variety of Easter traditions. Many of us will attend church services with special music, drama and messages. Others of us will see our church attendance swell and see many faces that we’ve never seen before (or haven’t seen since Christmas)! We’ll have memorable get-togethers with family and friends, eat special food and lots of chocolate! It will be a time of celebration. For many of us, we’ll think of these traditions as making Easter special, but that’s not the case.
Easter is a celebration of the most important event of our faith. It is a time to reflect on the death, burial and, ultimately, resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no denying the importance of Easter. The cross is central to our faith. As the Apostle Paul says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor 1:18).” Without the cross, our faith has no power. The resurrection is equally important. Again, Paul states, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins (1 Cor 15:17).” Without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith would be useless. This is what makes Easter so special – what Jesus accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection.
As we look across the globe, we see a variety of Easter celebrations and observations. Let’s look at how some of our persecuted brothers and sisters will observe Easter this year:
- For many Christians from Myanmar, Easter will be observed differently than they may normally observe it. They will be away from home and country, living in refugee camps as they have fled the intense fighting in Kachin and Shan State.
- Many of our brothers and sisters will observe Easter in secret gatherings. Perhaps with only one or two other believers as they can’t openly meet for fear of violence against them. Many of these believers have been forsaken by their family and need the prayers of their spiritual family this Easter.
- Some of our brothers and sisters will observe Easter with hesitancy and fear that it will bring about a fresh onslaught of persecution against them.
- Some believers in places like Iraq and Syria will celebrate Easter at home for the first time since returning to their cities after being displaced by war. It will be a joyous celebration!
No matter how Easter is observed, we must remember what makes it special: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. May we take a few minutes to pray today for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are undergoing suffering for Jesus’ sake. May remembering Jesus’ suffering on the cross bring them joy and strength to endure.