“Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.”
This year Easter was followed by a 3 day holiday in China called “Tomb Sweeping Day”, a 2,500 year old tradition which is a time of moral and spiritual obligation for the Chinese to honor and show respect for their ancestors.
Families gather around ancestral graves and literally sweep clean the openings, burn fake bank notes and incense and present flowers and bowls of fruit so that the deceased will have everything they need in the afterlife.
The thought played in Rolf’s mind of how to maybe tie the Tomb Sweeping Festival with the Easter story and the empty tomb in a place where it is illegal to “convert” the local people – someone from his church there suggested using colored eggs to explain Christ’s sacrifice and His resurrection.
So after prayerful consideration Rolf decided to have an egg coloring party and invite several students and neighbors with their children to tell them about an American tradition and what Easter really means to him.
What sounded pretty simple, buy the eggs, a coloring kit and some balloons to put crosses on and release to signify Jesus ascension into heaven turned out to be rather challenging.
Cheap balloons popped easily and don’t hold air very long and finding white eggs took a lot of footwork – 90% of the eggs in this area are brown and don’t color well.
Finally after scouring the stores, success, the eggs were found, bought and hard boiled and the people came and the fun and the story began . . .
The eggs were dyed using colors to tell the salvation story, purple (God’s grace), black (sin), blue (baptism), red (blood of Jesus), white (forgiveness of sin), green (eternal life) and yellow (heaven).
The hard boiled eggs represented the sealed tomb where Christ was buried and the breaking of the egg represented Christ’s resurrection. The balloons were released explaining His ascension to heaven and that no more brooms were needed to sweep the tomb – it was empty.
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” Matthew 28:6a
Everyone had a great time, heard the Gospel and the real meaning of Easter and got to take some eggs home as a reminder of what they heard.
Rolf learned that a few were already believers of Jesus. For the others there was some genuine interest and many questions asked.
PRAY God will reveal Himself to them and many will come to faith.
The city of Xining (where Rolf is) means “peace of the west”.
PRAY for the people there that will come to know the “Prince of Peace.”
We couldn’t do any of this without you! We are very appreciative and thank you for your partnership with us in what God is doing in China.