Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pasika Nziza!...Icyizere

Pasika Nziza! (Happy Easter!)

My belated celebration on the resurrection of the Lord!

The redemptive death of the Lord on Good Friday was the expression of God's mercy on His chosen people to forgo the penalty of sins, the removal of the negative aspect.

The resurrection of the Lord from the death was the expression of God's grace to His chosen people to give an additional bonus of new life and the promise of eternal life. It is the act of grace.

Together, it represents the love of God: passionate, unconditional, abundant love.

On this day, all Christ-followers celebrate the resurrection of the Lord and praise Him for His goodness.

On this joyous day, however, Rwandan Christians were in a solemn mood. The celebration was toned down and the songs sung were less joyful. It is all because this day fell into the middle of the week of mourning on the genocide.

At many places, people were gathering to rebury the remains of the genocide victims. Among them were two of the bank employees. This is how the cemoney went. After the service, many people shared their testimonials of the lawlessness, cruety, horror and fear during the genocide. Other people remembered their past traumas and started wailing. The entire people soon joined them, weeping, crying and wailing together. The ceremony could not continue and so it was finished earlier than scheduled, but after 3-4 hours of sorrowful remembrance of the tragedy. Poeple went home with one phrase deeply inscribed into their minds. "Never, ever, ever again!"

Many wonder why the government has to bring up the horrible memory every year and scratch the healing wounds of peple again and again. Others argue that we should never forget the tragedy by remembering the horror. I don't know which argument is more valid, but the ultimate destination of all these that the government hopes to see is hope. There are gigantic bill boards all over the city, reading "Icyizere (Hope)."

I was sad on the Resurrection Celebration Day. Because many Christians could not celebrate the resurrection of the Lord fully and joyously. I am sure the Lord understands. But I was sad.

On the other hand, however, I realized that the ultimate outcome that the Rwandans desire to see in painful remembrance of the genocide is icyizere. Yes, indeed. Rwandans hope to see complete reconciliation among people and perfect harmony of people in unity. It is hope.

But, the genuine hope is the hope of bodily resurrection of all dead in faith and of the hope of eternal life in Christ. It is a blessing to many Rwandans who know it and pray for the real "Icyizere." Praise the Lord!

"Pasika Nziza! He is risen! He gave us the hope of our bodily resurrection by becoming the first fruit of the resurrection! He has given us the hope of eternal life! Icyizere! Thank you, Lord! I am looking forward to my bodily resurrection to be like your glorified body! Imana ishimiye! (Praise God!) Amen! Amen! Amen!" - Jeffrey


Jeano (a.k.a. Uncle Ben) said...

지금 방금 올리셨나보네요...조금 아까 봤을때는 없던데. 바다 건너에 있지만, 같은 시간에 인터넽을 하고 있다고 생각하니까, 그다지 멀게 느껴지지가 않네요. 평안한 주일 보내시기를 바랍니다.

jlee80111 said...

Hi, Jeano...It is always good to have some comments left to the blogposts. It is a little different feeling than e-mails. Thank you for your comments. Shalom. Jeffrey

Unknown said...

Happy Belated Easter Mr. Lee~!! I finally got to read posts and I must say It's so wonderful reading your blogs and vicariously observing God's mighty work. I am glad to see that you're adjusting to the new environment pretty well. - Ahrum aka H-Mart ^^;;;

jlee80111 said...

Hi Ahrum... how are you doing? It is encouragin to know there are people who read the blogposts. I trust all is well... Shalom Jeffrey