first_imgThis was the Easter message delivered yesterday by the Rev. Canon A. Too Williams of St. Stephen Episcopal Church, 10th Street, Sinkor. He challenged his parishioners, who included many visiting foreigners, to follow the great example of Jesus who, though tempted, did not sin. Fr. Williams, quoting one scholar, described sin as “Satan’s international nonsense,” since sin knows no boundaries and afflicts all human beings. Canon Williams treated his listeners to another historical fact unknown to most Liberians: that the great Indian-South African liberator and thinker, Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, could have become a Christian—and just think of the thousands his conversion could have won to the church, but for one problem: the church he visited to learn a little more of Christianity since he was impressed with Jesus’ ministry, yes, that church, most probably in despicable (dreadful, wicked) South Africa at the time, was racist. They told Gandhi he was not welcome in their all-white church and that he should rather go hang out with his fellow Hindus, mostly from India.Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, as prophesied by the great prophet Isaiah some 800 years before Christ’s birth, is the primary reason Christians still believe in him, over 2000 years later.The three main reasons for this are first, Jesus did not sin, though he was tempted, and consistently went about doing good, using ALL his power for good, not for evil, as so many people with power have done and are still doing—using it for themselves and their families and cronies, NOT in the interest of the people they originally pledged serve.Second, Jesus was brutally humiliated, suffered and died on the cross, yet asked His Father, God, to forgive his persecutors.Thirdly, the ultimate, distinctly divine accomplishment, Christ became the ONLY person in history to have been killed, yet rose from the dead.That was indeed the reward of righteousness—His Heavenly Father was so impressed with Jesus’ faithful ministry that He (God the Father) gave Him (the Son) the unique privilege no other being has yet received—rising from the dead.See how the racist South Africans, having wielded all that power—at one time they even had atomic power—against the black majority and other races—Indian and Coloreds—see how through the power of God these seemingly all powerful and unconquerable white people were brought to their knees by one black man and the determination of millions of his people—Nelson Mandela and the black South African majority!Yes, they—the South African whites—who, like the Jewish establishment and so many other regimes who deemed themselves unconquerable, soon found out that there is a God who raises up certain people, Jesus and Mandela, for example, to free the oppressed and suffering from bondage. It is not our intention to compare Mandela with Jesus, for Mandela was human and Jesus is divine, and Christ is immortal and Mandela was mortal—so the two cannot be compared. Nor did Mandela ever claim divinity or perfection. However, there are three attributes that bring Mandela close to Christ: first, Mandela, like the Messiah, was consistent to the end in his struggle for the liberation of his people; second, Mandela was totally selfless and once he accomplished his mission he, in stark contrast to Robert Mugabe and many other liberation and political leaders, stepped aside, passing the torch to the younger generation; and thirdly—and most importantly—Mandela, like Christ, FORGAVE his and his people’s persecutors.So the primary message of Easter—joy, hope, peace and victory—is the message that every Christian, indeed all the world, should claim at this time. As Pope Francis said in his Easter Message at the Basilica in Rome yesterday, Easter, yes, brings hope; yet we cannot ignore the two major crises the world faces at this time—the indiscriminate terrorist attacks against innocent people in many parts of the world; and the refugee crisis in the Middle East.Yet they are not strong enough to diminish the peace, joy, hope and victory that Easter brings. For Jesus’ victory over death empowers us to realize the power of God and gives us the capacity and the hope to overcome every problem on earth, including terrorism, tyranny and any other kind of trouble.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgAt least 11 tornadoes were reported throughout western Nebraska, destroying or damaging three homes and at least 10 miles of power lines. Two twisters touched down in far northwest Kansas, severely damaging three homes, authorities said. In Oklahoma, Vance and Barbra Woodbury were killed when the storm blew apart their home near the Panhandle community of Elmwood. “We set off the tornado sirens, but they live too far out to hear them,” said Dixie Parker, Beaver County’s emergency management director. “The house was just flattened, the out buildings are gone. All that’s left is debris.” Warning sirens went off in Oklahoma City on Thursday afternoon, but authorities could not immediately confirm whether a tornado had touched down. There were reports of minor damage but no injuries. Tornadoes in the Texas Panhandle uprooted trees, overturned trucks and injured at least three people. The region also got baseball-size hail. Monte Ford, 53, was killed near Amarillo when he was thrown about 15 feet from his oilfield trailer, which was rolled by the wind. The Colorado tornado killed dozens of cattle and injured others so severely they have to be shot. The same storm system dumped snow on Wyoming, causing highway pileups and closing large portions of three interstates.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! At least seven other people were hurt when the tornado skipped for a mile-and-a-half through Holly and surrounding areas. “All they heard was this big ugly noise, and they didn’t have no time to run,” said Victoria Rosales, the victim’s sister. She said the woman and her husband, Gustavo Puga, were in the kitchen and their 3-year-old daughter, Noelia, was sleeping in a front room when the tornado hit. Puga was holding on to the little girl when rescuers found them, said his brother, Oscar Puga. The two were in fair condition Thursday at a Colorado Springs hospital. As residents sifted through their scattered belongings, the streets were littered with utility poles, power lines, tree limbs and debris. One woman whose house was destroyed wept as she searched for a wedding ring. “Homes were there and now they’re gone,” Prowers County Administrator Linda Fairbairn said. “Many, if not all, the structures in town suffered some degree of damage.” HOLLY, Colo. – A massive spring storm spawned dozens of tornadoes from the Rockies to the Plains, killing at least four people in three states, including a woman who was flung into a tree by a twister as wide as two football fields. Sixty-five tornadoes were reported late Wednesday in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska, the National Weather Service said. By early Thursday, the storm system stretched from South Dakota to Texas. Rosemary Rosales, 28, was found critically injured in the tree after the huge tornado destroyed several homes and damaged dozens of others in Holly, a town of 1,000 people about 235 miles southeast of Denver near the Kansas line. In Oklahoma, a twister killed a couple as it blew their home to pieces. In Texas, a man was found dead in the tangled debris of his trailer. last_img read more