We received an question from a reader who wanted to know how Easter is celebrated here in Samfya. I can tell you that the traditional American icons have not made an appearance. We have not seen the furry, white, edible mammal with the long ears, or his fluffy, sugary, also edible, avian friends. Rapbbits, and Peeps aside, there are no Easter decorations visible at all. But that doesn’t mean Zambian Christians don’t celebrate! On Palm Sunday a number of churches gathered in an open field outside town for a simple service and a march, with palm fronds in hand, back into town and then to their own services. You can see the video here. There were prayers, brief sermons. It was interdenominational. It was also hot and crowded, but it gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem surrounded by thronging crowds. Amazing that in just one week, these same crowds would be shouting for his death. Thankfully, Jesus sought the praise that comes from the Father not from men.
“Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:8-11).
I’ve never celebrated Palm Sunday this way. It was a fun manifestation of the great diversity of expression in the worldwide body of Christ. I sure wonder what the celebration in heaven will look like.
Have a wonderful Easter!