Articles in English

In Christ the Small is Great

Thomas Vaga, E.E.L.K. piiskop electus - 2019

Dear fellow Estonians!

Every year we are celebrating a national event and have been doing it every year even the times when Estonia was occupied by Soviet Union. It is the one hundred and first year from the Estonian Declaration of Independence that took place on the twenty fourth of February in 1918. It is like the fourth of July is to America. The American Declaration of Independence was published in 1776? 243 years ago. America has gone through bad times in those years, like the Civil War. Estonia has as well. Together with us Latvia and Lithuania, and Finland share the same years and bad and good times. The three Baltic countries have shared years of terrible subjugation and deliverance to freedom. We have suffered in being the forgotten nations of Europe in the politics of great powers who divided Europe into spheres of interests over the people of Europe.

I experienced the truth of it when the famous historian and President Kennedy admirer, Arthur Schlesinger, spoke at Rutgers about how the world is divided between the US and USSR to spheres of interest, that is domination.  I got a chance to ask him about the independence of the Baltic countries. I remember how he crinkled his nose as if he had smelled something bad and said: “They belong to the Soviet Russian sphere of influence.” It meant possession.

For the true Christian, it was faith – that is absolute trust – in God and the promises of Jesus Christ that looked forward in undying hope toward freedom. Today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew describes in the words of Jesus our weaknesses and strengths:  (From the New Living Translation) “Then Jesus prayed this prayer. ‘O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike.’ Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find for your souls."

(Mt. 11:25.28.29b.c.). With Jesus Christ it is the law of the weak and not of the powerful rulers that governs. With Jesus there is no hopelessness for the small. In the end God is the winner and Jesus Christ has the solution in our personal lives and in world politics and the life of nations. A telling example is the bloodless dissolution of the Soviet Union similar to the breakdown of the Czarist empire 101 years ago. Both making it possible for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to become independent nations on the map of Europe.

Freedom and democracy are gifts from God.


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