“A heartfelt welcome to all participants of the 2014 March for Jesus in Warsaw!”
“The event we are taking part in today is truly one of its kind. We have not come together to stand against anything or anyone, but to stand for something and someone. This march is for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Today, in this capital city, we can come together in unity and share the privilege of manifesting our faith in the one true God. We can show the world that we, the people of Poland, have nothing to be ashamed of and we will not keep hiding in the shadows. On the contrary, we will be like King David, we will dance and praise the Living God, bringing the Ark of Covenant, surrounded by people, into our capital city. A thousand years after David, we will be like him, dancing and singing to our God. We will dance to the popular song “When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my heart I will dance like David danced”.
It is my heart’s desire for us to stand in unity and honor God just like this great ancient king.
This year’s March sets out from a place deserving our deepest respect. It is full of symbolism we cannot afford to forget. Over here we see the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, symbolises the sacrifice of people fighting for our freedom and democracy. Behind us is the cross – a symbol of victory and grace. A symbol of God’s limitless love, the highest sacrifice made by the very Creator of heavens and earth, our God, Jesus Christ. There is one more symbol here, we can see it in the distance, a symbol of patriotism. It is the monument of a man who proved with more than words that our Homeland is something more than a set of empty phrases. This monument commemorates Marshal Jozef Pilsudski.
It was Marshal Pilsudski who said: “A nation who does not respect its Past does not deserve the respect of the Present and has no right to a Future”.
This place where we are standing today calls to us in so many ways to REMEMBER, the past generations are calling – DO NOT FORGET. God Himself is calling us to learn and draw conclusions from the experience of those who came before us.
God, in His Word, tells us about many places of remembrance. When Joshua crossed the Jordan River he used stones to build a monument, proclaiming: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’ for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever” (Joshua 4:20-24).
We live in times when many want to mock the achievements of the past generations, but we, Christians, should be different: WE ARE MEANT TO REMEMBER!
We, Christians need to cultivate this universal, unchanging truth: “If we don’t know where we are coming from, we will not know were we are going”.
We are marching for Jesus every day, in everything we do, in our lifestyle, in the words we speak. Once a year, however, we can march for Jesus together, as one family. On this very special day we can march as one. We have the opportunity to honor the One who died for our sins and was not ashamed to call us His children.
In this place, I want to tell my God: “I praise You for what you have done, that it was your will to leave Your throne and save a sinner like me”.
If I also had the opportunity to say a few words to those heroes who died for our freedom, this is what I would tell them:
„Heroes! We live in times when patriotism is often unwelcome and the words GOD, HONOR AND HOMELAND are mocked. But we, Christians from all over the world declare and want you to know that we remember and we are grateful for your courage, sacrifice and faith in a better future. We know that it is thanks to you and to the one God, Jesus Christ, that we can stand here today, enjoying the freedom you have purchased for us with your own blood. We bow our heads, expressing our deepest thanks”.
Lord, today there are so many important people gathered in this place, but it is our heart’s desire for you, Lord Jesus, God Almighty, to bless us with Your presence. This March is for You alone. These people have gathered for Your glory. Lead us all through our capital city – Warsaw!
Closing, I would like to recall words once spoken in the very place where we are standing now. They were pronounced 35 years ago by another Pole who lived, like me, in a foreign land, missing his homeland and longing to see it fully devoted to God.
I want to repeat these words after a great Patriot, voice them loud and clear, so that all of heaven and earth can hear me as I pray these words from Psalm 104:
“Myself a son of this land, I am calling today… Let your Spirit descend! Let your Spirit descend! and renew the face of the earth – of this land! Amen!”
Let us remember that the Word of God is powerful.
These are my wishes for you, Poland, and for every person standing here in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”.
15 of June 2014
During the opening
At Pi?sudski Square, Ken Barun (Chief of Staff Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), Artur Pawlowski, Nigerian ambassador to Poland Samuel Wodi Jimba and Pastor Jerzy Przeradowski lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay tribute to the Polish soldiers who fought on different battlefields.
Artur Pawlowski and the Nigerian ambassador to Poland Samuel Wodi Jimba.
Ambassador to Poland Samuel Wodi Jimba addressing the crowd during the Festival of Hope in Warsaw in 2014
Politicians and heads of all major denominations in Poland opening the March for Jesus in Warsaw in 2014.
Artur Pawlowski addressing the crowd during the Festival of Hope in Warsaw in 2014
March for Jesus concluded with huge concert at the stadium.
Michael W. Smith
Franklin Graham addressing the crowd during the Festival of Hope in Warsaw in 2014
Michael W. Smith