Being a man or woman of faith in today’s world is not what it used to be. From executions to the removal of faith-based traditions, the perceived influence of believers is diminishing. We are long removed from the days of being a world that embraced the Word of God.
As the church continues to be muzzled and restricted, it is tempting for us Christians to huddle inside buildings and lament over our newfound struggles. It would be easy to continue sitting in our comfortable pews surrounded by like-minded believers and fellowship in solitude - afraid of the ramifications of the world outside.
Yet, as the world continues to push us away and shut us out, we as Christians are called to do so much more than cower away.
(AP Photo/Charlie Litchfield)
Throughout the course of history, times of persecution have brought about some of the greatest works of the church. Just look at the writings of the Apostle Paul throughout the books of Acts and Corinthians - “we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure” (1 Corinthians 4:12).
As the church, we are not meant to stay inside where we are comfortable, we are called to put boots to the ground and share the love and grace of God. Not by reciting scripture or condemning lifestyles, but by showing the same love Christ showed.
When I think about our world today, I can’t help but see a strong correlation to the world Christ witnessed two millennias ago. A world that was lost, with a church that was broken.
How easy it would have been for the son of God to surround himself with the righteous and worthy. Instead, He sought out the lost and the broken - from reprehensible tax collectors to lowly prostitutes deemed unworthy of love. And because of this, the kingdom of God grew exponentially.
Our world, whether they realize it or not, is searching for love and grace. And we have been given the answer to that search - an answer that we would be foolish not to share.
Christ didn’t stand in temples waiting for the lost and broken to come find him, He went running hard after them. He sought those who the world deemed unforgettable - not to chastise and condemn, but to save. He didn’t throw out verses in a hollow attempt to convert them, He showered them in love and grace.
As our world crumbles from within, we have a unique opportunity to be a light in a dark time - an opportunity to bring a contrasting message to what society is offering.
This holiday season, I urge you to embrace the challenge this world has presented to us. Be the love that you have been given, share the hope and grace that you have received.
For Christians, this is our time to do be who we are called to be. Will you answer the call?
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