“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11-12 NRSV
For those of us who are Christian we will be seeing a great deal of this in the years to come. Time was when being Christian and going to church was necessary for social acceptance and a way to get ahead in the world. Needless to say…this has changed.
Things will not change all at once. Erosion will happen little by little in the hope that it won’t be noticed or argued against. If we don’t protest the small things eventually there will be nothing left.
Our culture has changed drastically and we a heading into a time when being Christian will be a detriment.How many of us are willing to be persecuted for the sake of our religion? It will certainly separate the wheat from the chaff. Already Christianity is being removed from areas of life where it has been present since the founding of this country. I think it will continue.
We must be ready to stand up for our beliefs in the face of opposition. Be ready!
The only hymn that reflects those who have died for their country is the Navy Hymn
As a tribute here it is sung by military wives.
““To fear the Lord is the beginning of freedom.” ~ Ecclesiastes 1:14a
It is a very strange fact that in giving ourselves freely to God we become free. It is in “fearing” God that we gain our very souls. To “fear” him is acknowledge that he is God and he is in control. Yet his way of control is to give us freedom of choice. We can choose him or not. We can love him or not. We can “fear” him or not. It is up to each of us.
Prayer: Intriguing God, your way to control is to turn loose. Help us to use our freedom for your kingdom. Amen
When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out. Frank Sinatra
It has always puzzled me that some people think it is fine to do wrong because they can be absolved of it. This is wrong thinking. The things we confess to God and ask for forgiveness should be slip ups. Choosing to commit sinful acts because we can be forgiven is not how God expects us to behave. His forgiveness does not give us permission to choose to sin.
Prayer: God of grace, remind us we must choose the right path. We cannot choose wrong because of his forgiveness. It is a gift of grace when we stumble not a get out of jail free card. Help us to remember this. AMEN
The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. William Blake
Sometimes it is so much easier to hold on to our anger than to forgive. We may be using the anger to give us energy. It seems that the whole world is about finding someone to blame. We feel empowered by our anger. We feed on it. The truth is that anger drains us, uses up our energy and makes us ill. This is not what Christ said. He told us to forgive our enemies. The church tells us before we come to communion to turn loose of our grievances with others. We must forgive. Forgiveness heals.
Prayer: Forgive us as sins as we forgive the sins of others.
The only sin which we never forgive in each other is a difference of opinion—————–Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are so good at sticking to our own opinion and rejecting the opinions of others. Each of us is on a journey toward God and each of us is at a different place in that journey. Be mindful of the thoughts of others and be careful not to put rocks in their path. Your thoughts may be good ones but they may not be ready to hear them.
Amazing God, help each of us on our journey toward you and remind us not to hinder others. AMEN
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” …………………Martin Luther King, Jr.
When we are in the dark….with no light at all we feel disoriented. We need light coming from somewhere to give us balance and perception. We need the light. We need it to survive. Without light plants will not grow. The earth would be barren.
Just as much as we need light we need love. We need someone to hold up the mirror of love and show us our goodness. Without that we are barren.
God is willing to hold that mirror for us and let his light shine through us. Love and light give us life.
Amazing God, your grace has given us what we need to live as you call us to. Help us to remember that. AMEN
To fear the Lord is the beginning of freedom. ——————-Ecclesiastes 1:14a
It is very a very strange fact that in giving ourselves freely to God we become free ourselves. It is in “fearing” God that we gain our very souls. To “fear” him is to acknowledge that he is God and he is in control. Yet his way of control is to give us freedom. We can choose him or not. We can love him or not. We can”fear” him or not. It is up to each of us.
Intriguing God, your way to control is to give freedom. Hep us to use our freedom for you kingdom. AMEN