All 52 societies gather for the Easter Celebration. It begins on Thursday evening. Last night services were supposed to begin at 7:00 pm, however, due to the large crowd that had to be fed before the service began and some last minute electrical work that wasn’t completed before 7:00 the service didn’t begin until 8:00 pm. The service started with the Young Men’s Guild from all the societies coming in singing and dancing. The YMG led the singing last night. The singing is all acappella and at times is louder than a rock concert. The service and all of the sermons were in SiSwati, so I couldn’t understand much of what was said, but by the looks on the faces, the dancing, the passion when the speakers talked, it was clear they were praising and worshiping God for the events that were about to take place over 2000 years ago. One thing you have to understand is that they sing hymns and also just sing whenever the Minister or speaker feels moved or during any transition. If they aren’t singing a specific hymn, they are generally singing some type of song that focuses on having great faith, glorifying God, or thanking God for everything. That is A LOT of singing!
Thursday evening’s service centered on the gathering at the Upper Room, then Holy Communion, followed by the lesson of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The Superintendent actually washed one of the steward’s feet as the Minister read the passage out of the Bible and then gave a sermon on it. At 10:00 pm the service focused on Jesus in the
Most of the people who don’t live in close proximity to Manzini camp out for the weekend in the classrooms of the primary school. It is incredible.
This morning, services started at 9:00am.
In the evening there was another service commencing at 7:30 pm. It was a short service - only an hour and a half! The scripture was John 19:38-42. One of the stewards brought a woman from the Mpofu area, to interpret for me. She wrote in English several of the points Rev. France Mabuza was preaching about. It was awesome. In two sentences, he reviewed the scripture with the congregation and told us we need to be like Joseph of Armathea when he asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. His point was that Joseph believed and was a "secret" disciple of Christ because he feared persecution. But with the crucifixion he had the courage to speak up and honor Christ. He said we need to stop keeping our faith private to ourselves but to share it with others and help each other on our spiritual walks.
Tomorrow, there will be different sessions and meetings all day long. Then services will start at 7:00pm. The main “revival” will start at 10:30pm I’m told it goes all night long with the true celebration for the risen Christ starting at 4:45 in the morning. More will follow on this on Sunday!
Even though I can’t understand most of what is being said, I find it so interesting and as a Christian so moving that they celebrate so vividly Christ’s crucifixion as well as his resurrection. I was told they don’t want to forget how much Christ suffered for us. I have been truly blessed again and I know it won’t stop here.