Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lent Day 28 - Persecute

Jay enjoys ticker symbols racing across the TV in our commercial real estate office. He keeps CNBC on silent to be able to glance up once in a while to see how our stocks are performing. Personally, keeping this #FakeNews station on annoys me once in awhile when all I see is negative headlines regarding our patriotic President! President Trump suffers so much persecution from the biased, flagrant media. But then, it's the standard nowadays, isn't it? Thank God he doesn't seem fazed by any of it and continues his mission of Making America Great Again!

There has always been persecution . . . the most prominent being Christ. The more I think about this, the more unruffled I feel. If people insisted on murdering the Son of God, what makes me think anyone is free of inhumane behavior or attacks?  So, how do we handle all the criticism and insanity? We do just as Jesus did. Pick up our cross and continue in perseverance with the end goal in mind . . . heaven.

The Gospel today (John 5:1-16) demonstrates the insanity Jesus encountered is no different than the liberal media of today:

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be well?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, "It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."  He answered them, "The man who made me well told me, 'Take up your mat and walk.'" They asked him, "Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?" The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, "Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you." The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.

The quote below from Anne in her book Staying in Place is perfect . . . let the Lord handle those who persecute:

"Regarding circumstances outside of our control? Those are the Lord’s affair. Healthy detachment protects us from disillusionment when we are persecuted and we must see the hand of God where the institutional Church acts protectively. Women, in particular, cannot fail to honor the massive contribution of our sisters gone before us. We must persevere in their footsteps, caring for all beloved men, women and children and actively assisting in the formation of the next generation. We protect the development of the Church by ongoing contribution in order to balance what can only be viewed as lopsided ministry where it is all male. Complementarity in Church leadership is the future. We must all, male and female, contemplate what that should look like and no doubt suffer to bring it about."

Lay apostles, persecution is the norm, so why are we surprised when we see it occur on the evening news? It's wrong, yes. It's inhumane at times, yes. View your persecutions with Jesus in mind. The next time you are chastised, take it on the chin for Christ, no matter how harsh the reality is. See it for what it is . . . harassment because of our beliefs. And, fear within the persecutor because his actions may be contrary to a belief system they refuse to follow due to sin they are not willing to give up. Think about it the next time you feel judged. And respond as Christ did.

Thank you, Lord, for bravery in persecutions. Without You, I am nothing. With You, I am humble. Give me the courage I need to make it home to heaven.

God bless,

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