In the States, we awaken this Sunday morning rested from our extra hour of sleep (thank you daylight savings time). We are blessed to have the freedom to attend a church of our choice, within close proximity to our homes, with Bibles in hand. Some of us sing hymns and some praise songs, some may wear their Sunday best and some come as they are in jeans. We can grab a coffee in the lobby and we find Bibles available at our padded seats. Church has become quite comfortable. Heat in the winter and AC in the summer. I know I am comfortable at my church. I have doors opened for me, I have people helping me find a parking spot, and I have indoor plumbing to enjoy at my church. Clean water flows out of the water fountains. Children are safely checked into their age-appropriate, colorful environments. Comfort is everywhere. But I am reminded this November morning that Jesus didn’t die on the cross for me to be comfortable at church or in life. Shame on me to act like He did. Nor should I be so close-minded to assume that every Christ-follower is able to worship in such a comfortable places. Shame on me again.
Today, November 1, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church . Our brothers and sisters in Christ in other parts of the world face persecution for their faith. Their church isn’t sitting on the corner of Main Street but it exists in a secretive place void of many basic needs and many more comforts. Yet, they meet. They risk their lives to fulfill Hebrews 10: 25, (NIV) “Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The photo is from Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com)
The remains of one of 7 churches burned by arsons in an African country in September.
I won’t pretend to understand their persecution. But I can say a prayer for them today.
Please join me in saying a prayer today for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.