The Lantern

Incomparably Great Power

The Great Week—Resurrection Power

As we draw closer to the most sacred week of the Christian calendar—Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter—we are drawn to the Passion of Jesus Christ and renewed in our devotion to him as our Savior and Lord. Each day of Holy Week is a study in itself as we are awestruck by the Triune God of Grace, his compelling love for us, and his willingness to give everything to redeem humankind, so that we can be reconciled to God through his son, Jesus Christ, adopted into his family, and sealed by the Holy Spirit for all eternity.

In the Greek and Roman liturgical books, Holy Week is referred to as the Great Week because great deeds were done by God during this time. Meg Bucher writes, “Each day of Holy Week allows us to peek into the heart of our Savior at intently close proximity. His love for us is reflected in every significant step toward the cross, every breath up to the last, and his resurrection.”

This Lenten season I have been especially moved by Paul’s persistent prayer for the Christ followers in Ephesus, found in Ephesians 1:15–23 (NIV). He gets very specific in verses 18 through 20:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 1 reveals a vivid description of the “Real ID” of the person who is “in Christ” and the inheritance we have in him. Paul’s prayer declares that the resurrection of Jesus is the very model of the power we possess in him. It is a power that is incomparable. It is a power that is life-giving. It is not simply like the power that raised Jesus from the dead; it is the very same power. It is a power that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit: the very presence of God in us. It is a power that gives us wisdom and revelation so that we may “know him better” (verse 17). It is a power that opens our eyes to the hope we have in him (verse 18). It is also a power that brings authority as Jesus is positioned at the right hand of the Heavenly Father over everything and everyone else (verses 19b–21). This power is not an “it” at all. Because this power is himself, resident in each of our lives by the person of the Holy Spirit, and in the Body of Christ with Jesus as the head of the church (verses 2–23).

Resurrection Power in the Church in China

So, what does the incomparable resurrection power of God in Christ actually look and live like?

As I have been reviewing the spring issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly entitled “Christian Responses in China’s New Era,” I couldn’t help but read the articles in the context of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15–23. We are privileged to witness the resurrection power of God as Jesus heads up the Body of Christ. As the church responds to rapid changes, we see the Holy Spirit leading in wise, creative, timely, and steadfast ways. We see the church learning, waiting, worshipping, as well as open to change, pivoting to new strategies and wineskins in moments, in seasons, and seeking his will to be done and his strength to be manifested even in weakness. We also learn of many ways the global church can serve alongside his church in China. There is so much to learn here.  I hope you will prayerfully and reflectively read this issue of CSQ. You will be encouraged that the resurrection power of God is manifested in his church in China.

The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed! 

Kerry Schottelkorb

News and Notes

ChinaSource Quarterly, 2023 Spring Issue

Christian Responses in China’s New Era, Peter Bryant, guest editor.

Peter Bryant summarizes the issue’s articles in his editorial, “New Directions in the New Era”:

Building on the articles in the winter 2022 ChinaSource Quarterly, in this issue we continue reflecting on these shifts and their implications for Chinese Christians…

Two of our articles and the book review are written by Chinese believers. John Zhang helps us realize that the changes we have seen and experienced are part of broader societal and cultural shifts… Jerry An writes about new media and gives examples of the ongoing creativity and drive for Chinese Christians to be heard in their society using new media…

The book review, by seminarian Jacob Chengwei Feng, covers A Reader in Chinese Theology edited by Chloë Starr, a new compilation of readings in Chinese theology…

I am thankful to have perspectives from two writers coming from an ethnic Korean background… Sarah Lee delves into the results of interviewing over one hundred pastors across China… Shuya Kim in the lead article takes a broader and more historical look at both the Chinese church and global mission…

Just before the end of zero-COVID restrictions, I interviewed a family about their experiences in the New Era. They provide insights into how changes have impacted their lives as they seek to follow Christ. 

Read this deep-dive into the challenges facing Christians in the New Era here.

In-Person Lecture

Spreading the Gospel through Christian Posters in Early 20th Century China by Dr. Daryl Ireland

Between 1919 and 1949, posters were the most common Christian visual imagery in China. They were printed by the millions and hung in tea rooms, on city walls, and on temple gates. Posters were put up in houses and churches; they were unfolded for street evangelism. They were extremely popular because they were aesthetically pleasing and symbolically rich, yet easy to understand. Unlike theological treatises written by Chinese theologians, these images were designed by laypeople and intended for popular consumption.

In this lecture, Daryl Ireland of Boston University will showcase some of the 700 Chinese Protestant and Catholic posters he has located and explain why they are changing the way we think about Chinese Christianity.

We hope you can join us!

Billy Graham Hall at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.
500 College Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187

Wed, April 26 /7pm–8:30pm (CDT)

Light refreshments will be served following the lecture.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide a live stream; however, a recording will be publicly available after the event.

Online Event

In April, Joann Pittman will facilitate an online book club discussion for our friends at ERRChina/CAC. The book is Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in China, by Lian Xi. Register here to join the book club discussion on April 19, 2023.

ChinaSource Team News

  • Narci and Glenn Herr participated in the annual global outreach conference of Calvary Monument Bible Church in Paradise, Pennsylvania, March 12-19.
  • On March 5, Kerry Schottelkorb was privileged to share about the work of ChinaSource at First Chinese Baptist Church of Walnut during their annual outreach Sunday.
  • On February 15, Joann Pittman spoke in a chapel session at Covenant Living Senior Facility in Golden Valley, MN.

Ways to Pray

  • Praise the Lord that the resurrection presence of God in Christ is leading his church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for Christian leaders, for revival, and for kingdom impact in the marketplace and society across the mainland.
  • Pray for the pastors in China who have the same challenges as pastors in other places. Pray they will not waver in their faith, but rather demonstrate “endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11).
  • Pray that the shepherds in China will remember they are important and precious in God’s sight.
  • Pray for pastoral families to thrive together in Christ even as they face many challenges.
  • For additional details on how to pray more informed prayers in these areas, please see “Praying for Church Leaders in China,” by Trent Hayes in the spring issue of the ChinaSource Quarterly.

In Case You Missed It

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ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

Written, translated, or edited by members of the ChinaSource staff.          View Full Bio

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