Becoming Holy

Brave

on November 17, 2015

passion_of_the_christ

I’ve decided I’m not.  Brave, that is. Not brave at all.  The recent attacks in Paris, France, and around the world make me aware of how “not brave” I am. (Cue frightened chicken sounds) Driving home from town yesterday, I was reminded of the Old Testament story of the Macchabees. As a child, I had an obsession with this story. It was in my dad’s old Bible History book from grade school. In it was a story titled, “The Seven Macchabees are Martyred”~complete with a black and white drawing of the event.  To read the Bible account go here: http://www.usccb.org/bible/2mc/7 

 

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The story of the Macchabees takes place in a time of great persecution against the Jews.  King Antiochus overtakes Jerusalem and commands the Jewish people to abandon all religious practices.  He slaughters 40,000 and sells another 40,000 into slavery. He profanes the temple and challenges all who remain to abandon their Jewish heritage or die.  A mother with seven sons is brought before Antiochus and is commanded to eat pork in violation of God’s law. Her oldest son refuses and is tortured cruelly, resulting in his death. One by one, each of the seven sons undergoes torture and death rather than deny his faith. The mother, having encouraged each son to hold fast to the faith, finally undergoes the same torturous death. I always felt bad for the mom, imagining how painful that would be to watch each child suffer and die.  Now, as an adult, I cannot even fathom the pain. 

 Driving home, pondering this story, the tears start to run down my face. I ask myself what kind of person I am. Am I rooted enough in faith to suffer? Would I run?  Surrender? Would I have the strength of the mom from Macchabees  to stand and watch my children suffer and die for our faith? These questions I hope never have answers. There is a growing threat in our world. Persecution of Christians is increasing in the Middle East. Europe is seeing the effects of the absence of Christianity. Countries around the world are being threatened by religious persecution. We need to know who we are and remain anchored in Christ. He, too, was a victim of religious persecution. 

For today, I am called to a different kind of bravery. The bravery of facing one day at a time. The call to love. The call to honor God in my daily life. The call to raise up children who are unafraid. The call to follow Christ without fear. 

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2 responses to “Brave

  1. Loretta Poxleitner says:

    Love! Thanks for sharing.

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