Zoltan Balogh – Photo: wikipedia

Protestant leaders celebrate Easter

The leaders of the Hungarian Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran Churches celebrated Easter on Sunday with worship services highlighting the importance of spreading the news of Christ's resurrection.

Zoltan Balog, the bishop of the Reformed Church in Hungary, said the story of Easter Morning brought fear and joy together, noting that the women who found the empty tomb of Jesus had felt fear because they knew that what was happening was out of their control. “Because man does not like it when he is not in control of his life and if he does not understand what is happening around him,” Balog added.

“What happens is out of our control, but it happens for us, to us and can happen within us,” Balog said.

On Easter morning man can experience the essence of the fear of God, “the feeling of how small yet how valuable we are”, the bishop said. The joy man feels from the recognition of his insignificance and importance compels him to share his experience of joy with others.

Balog called on members of the congregation to spread the Gospel to as many people as possible because “the more people you share it with the greater the chance that it will reach those who you do not yet love”.

Tamas Fabiny, the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, called on believers to spread the message of Christ’s resurrection instead of closing themselves off from the world.

Fabiny asked why it was that Jesus’s suffering had shaken so many people, yet after his resurrection, his disciples had gone home “into self-imposed quarantine”.

“They closed themselves off in fear because of the spread of a virus in the land called fear, a virus called worry, a virus called distrust,” Fabiny said.

“Aren’t we often still like this?” he said. “We are still shaken by Good Friday . but it is like we don’t know what to do with Easter.”

“On our way over here we’re still checking our watches, we want to get good seats . but on the way back we no longer have that jubilance about us or that devotion that Jesus would expect of us,” Fabiny said.

He said believers could spread the news of Jesus’s resurrection to others “because they await this good news”.

Fabiny urged believers to be “energetic Peters and Johns instead of tired and stunned apostles”. “But the real destination is not the Empty Tomb, but rather . the empty hearts of people so that we can fill the void with the living, resurrected Jesus,” he said.

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