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Sunday, April 4, 2010


From Pastor Tom Olson, pastor St. John's Lutheran Church, Newark, Ohio

COMMUNIST RE-EDUCATION! Back during the dark days of the Soviet Union, a small rural village far from Moscow committed a cardinal sin, at least a cardinal sin the eyes of the Communist state. They refused to give up their Russian Orthodox faith. They refused to stop attending worship on Sunday. Their "crime" called for re-education. Therefore, the whole village — every man, woman and child — was ordered by the authorities to the village's central square. In a chilling cold, they were forced to stand for hours and listen to speaker after speaker, denounce religion, Russian Orthodoxy, their priests and their faith.

Finally, in order to be "fair," the re-educators asked the village priest to come to the podium. He was very old and nearly bent double with age. He did not appear to be any threat to the people's re-education. The KGB agent in charge said to him, "You have exactly 10 minutes to challenge our arguments." The old priest looked up and said, "I will not need that much time." He moved slowly, almost painfully, to the microphone and then something remarkable, miraculous, occurred. He stood up straight. The years of age melted away; his eyes became clear and bright. He looked out over the crowd and in a strong, loud voice proclaimed the traditional Easter greeting: "Christ is risen!" And the crowd roared back, "He is risen indeed!" Then the crowd went nuts, cheering, hugging and crying, as the old priest, smiled kindly at the KGB agent, slowly shuffled off the podium.

The Communists oppressed Russia for 70 years. They tried to stamp out Christianity. But there is no power on earth that can overcome the risen Lord Jesus Christ who is coming back to reign in Jerusalem!

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