This weekend, we will see the entire Christian world celebrating the redeeming work of the cross. With this being my second Easter in Romania, I decided to bring you on this journey through the streets of Bucharest and share the joyous celebrations with you. We will look at the power of the cross and remember. We will look at the empty tomb and rejoice. Jesus is alive!
Last weekend, our church had special services to celebrate Palm Sunday, “Felicitări de Florii”, this is where we rejoice for the Jesus’ grand entrance into Jerusalem. We’re thankful to have our friend, and fellow Associate In Missions (AIMer), Justin here with us in Bucharest. From singing in the streets to passing out flyers, we met many people who were listening intently as we sang the glorious name of Jesus.
One tradition that I noticed on our drive to church was people carrying branches. We came to learn that people would take these to the Orthodox church to be blessed by the Priest. It was a symbol they took from the Bible, when the people were waving palm branches, shouting “HOSANNA”, when Jesus entered the city. These branches were a symbol of Praise and it was beautiful to see a city walking with “praise” in there hands. That was my prayer, that people will find true praise in their hearts as they look ahead to the saving work of Calvary.
Over the weekend we had 43 people in our services, along with many guests. We thank God!
One thing I forgot to mention, many Romanians have been thinking about Easter months in advance. They are already thinking of the significance of the Easter message. They traditionally fast 48 days before. Tonight, many Romanians will put on new clothes and fill the churches. When the clock hits mid-night, everyone will light their candles. This is to represent the resurrection of Jesus. Although, I haven’t yet seen this, I think it will be a remarkable sight, a city that is lit by candlelight.
Sunday, we look forward to sharing the true meaning of the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people will have already that Jesus died and rose again, but it’s our prayer that they will understand the true power of the cross and how we can live a victorious life. I look forward to hearing people greeting each other by saying, ‘Hristos a înviat’, translated as ‘Christ is Alive’, but what excites me is to respond ‘Adevărat a înviat’ (He has truly risen)…. even if it is while cracking colourful eggs!
I’m thankful for the wonderful story of the cross. I’m thankful for the salvation it brings. I rejoice as I know that the tomb was and still is empty! Jesus is alive!