Estonia’s Bronze Soldier

Bronze Soldier

Estonia has made world news lately as the relocation of a soviet-era bronze war memorial prompted riots by Russians in the capital city of Tallinn. I’ve culled some good articles from the internet to shed some light on the meaning behind these disturbing events.

Here is some brief background. The war memorial is a bronze statue of a soldier which stands on the site of a grave for the unidentified fallen of the Red Army. To Estonians, it is a lasting symbol of 50 years of illegal Soviet occupation and oppression of the Estonian way of life. For ethnically Russian Estonians, it stands for a sense of nationhood and global respect which has been lacking ever since the fall of the USSR. It seems to me that the current hoopla on the ground in Estonia has much less to do with the difference between these interpretations of the statue and more to do with hoodlums who are capitalizing on a tense situation in order to rabble rouse.

“Everything We Need for Revival”

Estonia, Miscellaneous

Last summer, our congregation in Viimsi celebrated the completion of a seven year construction project. Church leaders from all over the area came to offer their blessings. Among the congratulations offered that day, a representative from a local Bible School encouraged us that we now had “everything we needed for a revival.”

While I’m sure he meant well, his comment left me puzzled. I sat in my seat wondering what things we had now that we didn’t have before that could possibly account for the presence or absence of revival. The implication seemed to be that the Holy Spirit has some sort of checklist of parts and materials required to set the stage for his performances. Would the Holy Spirit be more welcomed, or the people of God more effective in a freshly plastered, modern looking church building than in an wooden planked, one room, furnace heated country church? Until recently, those questions simply irked me. But last week, after attending Winter Camp at a small church in a farm town called Rakke, I realized I’ve made similar assumptions.