Thursday, December 21, 2006

DO NOT FORGET THOSE WHO WEAR THE CROWN OF SUFFERING!



As we celebrate the Christmas season let us not forget the reality that we have brothers and sisters around the world who are being severely persecuted for believing in and following Emmanuel, God with us, the Lord Jesus Christ. I give you two recent, common examples of what goes on continually, from the wires;

"December 21 (Compass Direct News) – Hindu extremists launched two known attacks against Christians this week, beating a couple in the northern state of Haryana yesterday and assaulting pastor in the central state of Chhattisgarh on Sunday (December 17). About 50 Bajrang Dal extremists attacked the Christian couple, Rakesh Sen and Suman Sen, at about 8 a.m. yesterday at their home in Lakarpur, Faridabad district, Haryana. The attackers were upset at the couple for regularly allowing their New Life Fellowship church to meet in their home for Sunday worship:

In Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, a group of about 50 extremists from the Dharam Raksha Sena (DRS or Army for Religious Protection) beat an independent pastor on Sunday (December 17) and accused him of forced conversions.
They attacked Philip Jagdalla as he returned to his home after teaching Sunday school at his church, according to a statement released by the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CCF)."

These dear saints are paying an extreme price for just going to church, and teaching Sunday School! Most of us will celebrate these next few days with family and friends. We will gather, fellowship, laugh, sing, and just have a great time around the occasion of our God coming to earth. But others of the body will suffer, be jailed or worse, at the same time we are celebrating. Is it wrong for us to celebrate? Absolutely not, we should, to His glory. But in the midst of our celebration, it is good and right for us to remember and pray for those in much different circumstances.

We do not know why God in His sovereignty put most of us in very easy living conditions, compared to most of the rest of the world. We do not know why we live in a place where there is plenty to eat and shelter is not a concern for most of us. We do not know why we are able to still meet for church without threat of imprisonment or bodily harm. We do not know why we do not need to fear for the lives of our children every moment of every day. We do not know these things and more. But we do know that to whom much is given much is required, so this Christmas weekend, remember those to whom not as much has been given. And be sure to give much of yourself to the things of God and the God of all things!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com