“Shine Jesus Shine-fill this land with the Father’s Glory- blaze Spirit blaze set our hearts on fire. Flow river flow, flood the nations with Grace and mercy-send forth your Word Lord, and let there be light.”
Thirty years ago, a powerful worship song echoed throughout the church with a passion and fervor that helped to ignite the Charismatic revival that was sweeping our country and the world. It was a song for the ages-with a message of hope for today! That song would be the musical theme for what we were about to experience in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.
I will never forget September 17th 2017. Eight hours before, we had begun our overnight train journey from L’viv Ukraine. The ride was uneventful but filled with expectation of what was about to happen in downtown Kiev on Maidan Square- celebrating the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther, and which declared that salvation was not found in good works alone, but in the saving Grace of Jesus Christ.
As we left the Kiev train station, the fall air was crisp and the sky was a deep royal blue, with nary a cloud in the sky. Soon as<img src="https://katharospursuit.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/kiev.jpg" alt="kiev" we approached the Square, also known as Independence Square, we were immediately reminded of events that transpired there on November 21st 2013 when a violent revolution led to the deaths of many young Ukrainians. There were pictures honoring the dead on walls and buildings signifying the cost of the revolution which had established a new government in 2014. But today, there would be a different revolution taking place on the streets of Kiev.
The history of the Ukrainian people has been filled with human tragedy and violence. Especially during the last 100 years, the nation has experienced untold suffering -casting a shadow of darkness over her people and future. Beginning with the forced famine, instigated by Russian leader Joseph Stalin in 1932, which lead to the starvation deaths of 7,000,000 men, women, and children and soon followed by WWII, And ending with Communist rule that lasted until 1991-Ukraine had been cloaked in darkness for many years. But today would be different! The shadows of suffering and pain were being replaced by the dawning of a New Day and a Celebration of New Beginnings! Through a declaration ratified by Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko , this day would not only honor the church reformation, led by Martin Luther but a Spiritual Revolution celebrating a New Day of religious freedom for Ukraine.
As we made the 20 minute journey to Maidan Square, we turned on to Khreshchatyk street which had always been a staging ground for Communist party demonstrations. But now people were joining us from every Ukrainian province, and what had begun as a trickle, was now quickly becoming thousands of Christians, marching under a different banner proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
I will never forget what happened next. As we approached a giant screen and stage, approximately 3,000 feet in front of us, as if on queue, the stringed orchestra, flutes and trumpets began to play "Shine Jesus Shine". It didn't matter that the choir hadn't joined in yet, because the words echoed in my heart and spirit as the sounds echoed between the towering buildings and alley ways.
"Lord, the light of your love is shining-in the midst of the darkness shining. Jesus light of the world shine upon me. Set us free by the truth you now bring us-shine shine on me."
Now, as days are turning into weeks, I do not believe that I have yet grasped the true meaning of what happened that day. Being part of a gathering which grew to 200,000, and experiencing joy that I have not seen since the JESUS Revolution OF THE 1960's and 70's, truly revived my spirit and reminded me that freedom isn't free and cannot be taken for granted; because these believers were not just celebrating Jesus but the freedom to worship Him!
Yet what amazed me more than anything, was not the sheer numbers, but the ages of those attending. Everywhere I looked, I saw families, young and old celebrating together their freedom in Christ- whether it was political or spiritual. I must add that as I observed the crowd, the average age had to be 30 and younger, with a large percentage being teenagers! This gave me renewed hope for our country!
Finally, I've asked myself the question as to why I had been given the privilege by God to attend such an important gathering in the history of Ukraine and the world, for that matter. A few thoughts have come to mind. First of all, I was reminded of the importance of the family unit as central to a country remaining strong. Because when family structure begins to crumble, a country decays from within. Judges chapter 2 verses 10-11 state, "When all the generations had been gathered to their fathers, there arose another generation who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children did evil in the sight of the Lord and served other Gods." This is an amazing picture of our country today. But Hope was birthed within my heart that day on Khreshchatyk street/Maidan Square , because God loves America just as much as He does Ukraine, and what He is doing there, He can certainly do here among our youth!
One Final point- one of the speakers, Terry Mecuwsen, from CBN, shared a thought that is still echoing in my mind. She began, "God is not looking for men and women of power and wealth. He is looking for men and women who are looking for Him." Those who came to Maidan Square on that beautiful fall day were not people of power and wealth but a people filled with meekness and humility-and they accomplished what no previously powerful world system could ever achieve, because they Looked for God, and they found Him!
"As we gaze on your kingly brightness, so our faces display your brightness. Ever changing from Glory to Glory-mirrored here, may our lives tell you story. Shine shine on me,
*You can listen to SHINE JESUS SHINE on You-tube.