I hope all is going well for you. Since the last issue of the United News Asia I have spent several weeks visiting India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia and attending the Festival Coordinator’s conference in Dallas, Texas. I have highlighted some of the details of the trip in a separate article in this issue.
By the time the next issue of the United News Asia is produced the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread will be past. So I would like to take the opportunity to wish each of you a spiritually uplifting feast. One of the keys to having a wonderful feast is found in the admonition of the apostle Paul, “…let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5:7). Have you ever noticed that malice (evil, depravity) and wickedness (iniquity) tend to destroy relationships? Such sins destroy our relationship with God and with one another. Consider the number of marriages and friendships that are destroyed on a regular basis through sin. Those sins could be adultery, lying, slander, stealing, cheating, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, verbal brawling, selfish ambition, etc. (Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 4:31). Their end result is heartache and broken relationships.
Passover reminds us of the peaceful relationship that we can enjoy with God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As we observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we can be reminded of our continuing exodus from the sinful ways of this world. This year let’s strive with greater effort to keep the feast in an attitude of sincerity and truth. Sincere, honest thoughts and actions lead to peaceful and harmonious relationships. The world that we live in is in desperate need of such relationships. God has given us the opportunity of being a light to the world in the way we conduct ourselves. We can be that bright light by humbly allowing God’s Spirit to lead us in the paths of righteousness according to God’s word. Sometimes when relationships are in need of repair, one must swallow his/her pride and humbly seek forgiveness and reconciliation. Isn’t this one of the lessons of unleavened bread as well? Getting rid of pride and vanity and following the apostle Paul’s admonition to “…walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).
As we approach the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, let’s spend some time examining our heart and actions so that we can keep the feast in a way that is truly pleasing to our Lord and Savior, who willing laid down His life to deliver us from sin.
I look forward to visiting many of you before and during the Spring Feast!