By Diedree Sundararaj
As it is with most annual events in our calendars, when a special occasion comes around, our minds naturally drift to the past and how it was the last year…or before.
Easter is the most important event in the Christian calendar. It is a time to recognise the reason that Christ bridged the gap between sinful humans and a Holy God. As Easter draws near, I can’t help but look back on what it was …
Like many times in the past during the Easter season, we endeavor to fulfill our Great Commission. People’s hearts are tender towards religion. More creative and innovative ways and methods were implemented to do this. Fun Easter egg hunts in parks, thousands of special invites and tracts printed and distributed, a special Worship Service where souls are saved and music that uplifts. Of course, we don’t neglect our best, unofficial Baptist trait, our food and fellowship time. This not only involves and binds together our church family and guests, but cheers and encourages one another! These are some of the things I reflected on at SBC.
In 2019, my family at home was just Niranjan and I as our three children were all overseas. We were partakers and recipients of a well thought out, planned and orchestrated Easter season, culminating in a wonderful time of Worship and fellowship with our church family. After which we settled in for our ‘Sunday afternoon Baptist nap’. What followed in the next hour is something that would always come to mind during the Easter season.
Frantic calls, messages and news reports of churches in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital were being bombed during their Easter Worship services. Hotels too were targeted. The death toll was in the hundreds.
I didn’t know how Niranjan was feeling. It isn’t hard to guess though, as he was a victim of a bomb blast. For me, it was a feeling I never wanted to resurface. The difference this time though was that although we were thousands of miles away, our son Soren was in the middle of their Easter Service, where a bomb exploded not too far away from their church.
Panic and fear set in, curfew was imposed, a sense of the unknown and danger prevailed. The days and weeks that followed is certainly not something you want on our recollection list.
Our church responded. Pastor Hernan and many more reached out in many ways to show they care. They called, they prayed, they sent gifts and contributions to encourage the missionaries and churches to stay strong. That is who we are.
Fast forward to this Easter, what it is…
Circumstances now are very different although eerily similar. This Easter it’s not just our family or Sri Lanka as a Nation or Christians around the world who felt the effects of fear, helplessness, even anger at the perpetrators. This time, the world feels it. Bewilderment, fear, helplessness, loss and lockdown. How ironic, a year on, a different kind of enemy, unseen and indiscriminating.
As a mother, my first thought is for my children’s safety. A privilege I will hold on to. My first reaction is to bring my children back to the safety and comfort of home and family. My husband reminded me that they are the safest where God has placed them. It is very comforting to remember.
So like last Easter, this year too, I’ve learned to apply some comforting truths from God’s word. He didn’t just die for us, but He cares about us. He is in control. He knows what’s best. His eye is on the sparrow….and I know He’s watching over.
He didn’t just die for us, but He cares about us.
That makes me look at what can be…
The men of God have repeatedly exhorted us to not be fearful, but be content and continue, that our mission remains the same regardless of the circumstances. Draw on the talents and treasures we have been blessed with to continue, in such a time as this. Redeeming the time and making a difference. I am thankful for the many opportunities our church is providing to come together to do this.
“I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me” - Hudson Taylor.
Together we can. All for Christ.