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From Curse to Blessing | Adventist News Network


This was the name of the New Year’s program that took place in the First Rostov Community on the final Sabbath of 2020.
At the very beginning of the program, the presenters asked the question, ”How did 2020 differ from the previous ones?”

The essence of the answers was that in 2020, almost everyone had to change their lifestyle in accordance with the new challenges of the time: “pandemic”; “self-isolation”; “lockdown”. The year brought many difficulties, illnesses, and even losses.

However, everything is not so simple. The entire program was permeated by reflections on what is truly important and how God is able to make a curse into a blessing. 

It was noted that when celebrating the new year, we think not only about the past but also about the future, the mystery of which frightens us. However, in the Holy Scriptures, there are many promises that will help us be courageous because the Lord does not leave His children. Some of these promises were featured in videos in which children recited God’s wonderful assurances.

A small production, “Virus and Grace”, was devoted to the same theme, in which the great struggle between Christ and Satan was figuratively presented against the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic. In it, with specific examples, it was demonstrated how, before this year, thousands of people were absorbed in a constant pursuit of wealth, success, education, and career. but when self-isolation was announced, many of them stopped, saw the meaninglessness of their existence, thought about the meaning of life, began to look for it, and came to God. Some, out of boredom and depression, opened the Bible and, for the first time, knelt down in prayer, worried about their own health and that of those close to them.

Drawing a conclusion from this situation, the presenters drew attention to the fact that God’s love for us is grace, which has such power that it can turn the most terrible situation into the best one, recalling this biblical text: “The Lord your God turned a curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you” (Deuteronomy 23:5, ESV).

The attendees were asked to think about what they would wish for themselves, their families, and churches in 2021. Then, in a poem by the Christian poetess Tatiana Nizhelskaya, a wonderful wish for the church in the new year was voiced.

It was noted that it depends only on us regarding with what we will fill the new pages of our lives. God is true to His promises and wants us to be true to Him too. Video wishes from children were devoted to this topic.

In the sermon that followed, Pastor Reuben Kroytor suggested reflecting on the benefits of being God’s people. He spoke of the fact that sometimes a person does not even imagine how the Lord acts in one’s life. The highest goal of life is determined not by earthly but by heavenly coordinates. Naomi’s story, recorded in the book of Ruth, showed God does not leave His children. Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians. 4:6, 7).

At the end of the program, they noted the new year is not just a new period of time, but a new step towards our Lord. The outgoing year has once again confirmed the prophecies are coming true and the coming of Christ is very close. And this is another blessing of the past year.

In the closing song, “New Year”, there was another wish for His children from the Lord, who wants everyone to see “a new heaven and a new earth.”

Everyone was very pleased with the New Year’s program, with its wonderful musical numbers and children’s video performances, and inspired to meet and live 2021 with optimism.

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division’s news site




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