Amen and Alleluia

“Amen” and “Alleluia” are words that unite Christians around the world, for they are virtually the same in every language, as illustrated by a gripping story that Daniel Christiansen tells about a relative, a Romanian soldier in World War II, named Ana Gheorghe.
It was 1941, and Russian troops had overrun the Romanian region of Bessarabia and entered Moldavia. Ana and his comrades were badly frightened. Bullets whizzed around them, and mortar shells shook the earth. By day, Ana sought relief reading his Bible, but at night he could only crouch close to the earth and recall verses memorized in childhood.
One day during a spray of enemy fire, Ana was separated from his company. In a panic, he bolted deeper and deeper into the woods until, huddling at the base of a large tree, he fell asleep from exhaustion. The next day, trying to find his comrades, he moved cautiously toward the front, staying in the shadows of the trees, nibbling a crust of bread, drinking from streams. Hearing the battle closing in, he unslung his rifle, pulled the bolt, and watched for the enemy, his nerves near the breaking point. Twenty yards away, a Russian soldier suddenly appeared.
All my mental rehearsals of bravery served me nothing. I dropped my gun and fell to my knees, then buried my face in my sweating palms and began to pray. While praying, I waited for the cold touch of the Russian’s rifle barrel against my head.
I felt a slight pressure on my shoulder close to my neck. I opened my eyes slowly. There was my enemy kneeling in front of me, his gun lying next to mine among the wildflowers. His eyes were closed in prayer. We did not understand a single word of the other’s language, but we could pray. We ended our prayer with two words that need no translation: “Alleluia … Amen!”
Then, after a tearful embrace, we walked quickly to opposite sides of the clearing and disappeared beneath the trees.

Today’s Suggested Reading
Revelation 19:1–8

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Revelation 19:4

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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