Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Easter Miracles-- Russian Style
"I'll believe Jesus rose from the dead," said the angry Communist, " when the atheist leader of the Soviet Union becomes a Christian." These remarks, of course were typical during the years of the Soviet Empire and the Iron Curtain. Teenagers in America today hardly realize what a remarkable change has happened in Russia since the early 90s. Indeed it is nothing short of miraculous, and I have had the privilege of observing this first hand while teaching from time to time in Moscow.
And now comes this story about which I can only rejoice. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Premier of the Soviet Union and the man whom President Ronald Reagan implored "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" when he was in Berlin is now openly testifying that he is a Christian. Below you will find the link to the story in the British Paper the Telegraph.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the influence of St. Francis of Assisi and his writings on Gorbachev in this whole process.
The Lord is by no means finished with us all yet, and the rise and flourishing of Christianity once more in Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc countries is a clear sign of the moving of the Holy Spirit.
The last time I was in Moscow there was a huge Christian rally at the downtown convention center which once held the large Communist rallies. Instead, there was a charismatic worship service, complete with American and British praise songs now being sung in Russian--- 'Slava Boga' (Russian for 'Praise the Lord'). There were hundreds and hundreds of young people singing at the top of their lungs. Only the coldest of Christians hearts would not be moved to tears by such a sight. Some day the day may come when Russia becomes a more Christian nation than the U.S. of A. for the Spirit moves where it will. In the meanwhile, I am thankful for all the signs of Christianity rising from the ashes in Russia even now. It must have something to do with that empty tomb in Jerusalem and the one who vacated it :)