Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 17, 2012
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Be on your guard
"Beware of them, for they will hand you over to
councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you
will be dragged before governors and kings because
of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.
When they hand you over, do not worry about how you
are to speak or what you are to say; for what you
are to say will be given to you at that time; for
it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your
Creator speaking through you."
Often we forget the Church was built on the blood
and suffering of martyrs. Being a Christian may be
hazardous to your health, prosperity, and popularity.
Some countries continue to actively persecute
Christians for their faith even today. And all too
tragically, throughout history zealous Christians
have been equally guilty, persecuting and oppressing
others who failed to subscribe to their cherished
religious beliefs. Many horrific religious wars
have been committed in the name of God. Believe
or die. Believe my way or be tortured, imprisoned,
exiled, or even executed. This was never the
intention of Jesus as he taught his disciples
that suffering for his teachings is sometimes a
part of discipleship.
The inner circle of disciples had no idea of what
their future held as they eagerly followed Jesus.
Most of the twelve disciples eventually experienced
martyrdom. The beloved disciple, John, was exiled
to the island of Patmos (a Roman penal colony) for
his activities as a Christian missionary.
Hatred, violence, slander, and injustice can even
be experienced within the church. Ireland has been
racked with violence between Catholics and Protestants
for years. Gay and lesbian Christians are often
excluded or excommunicated from churches in many
countries. "Ethnic cleansing" in the name of
religious holy wars continues around the world.
Whatever our situation, if we find ourselves accused
and standing before the courts, beaten and bruised
for our faith in Christ, the Spirit of God will speak
through us. We will not be left alone. We will be
given the words to speak through the power of God.
So be very brave. Be comforted. We will not be
abandoned in our hour of need.
God, bless your martyred people. Help us to pray for
them and to be brave in our faith. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order
using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line
using your credit card! http://www.ChiRhoPress.com
"Living as the Beloved" is available for $20.95 each,
plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are
$15.75 each, plus shipping and handling. You can find
United States customers, please remember when ordering
on the Web site secure server to select "US Postal
Service Parcel Post" rather than the default setting
of "UPS Ground." It is much less expensive!