12th September 2012

It’s An Easy Life

“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.”
Luke 12:51 (NKJV)

A friend told me about a cartoon he’d seen. It pictured some 20 migrating birds. They were sitting on a telephone wire all facing the same direction. At the end of the row was another bird, this time facing the opposite way. The caption read: “Don’t mind me. I’m taking the pretty route.” No, I didn’t laugh either. 

But it does serve to illustrate a valid point. That the Christian was never promised an easy journey on our pilgrimage through this way of life. Jesus indicated that a Christian would suffer problems emanating from within his own family, including friends and relatives, and also from the state. It seems he also realised that other religious groupings would pressure Christians, too, but that isn’t mentioned (Luke 12:53), other than that the Christian could expect to be expelled from the religious houses (John 16:2) and even that his violent death would be hailed as a victory for God. 

Largely we in this day and age, at least in this country, have escaped some of that. Being sacked for publicly wearing a cross doesn’t fall into the same league. Our Christian lives are at least generally free from major persecutions leading to our martyrdom. 

But then you wonder. Does that make being a Christian easier or harder? In a way being led out the one and only time to be burned at the stake may be easier to face than a boss who for years doesn’t have any sympathy with one of his minions who has scruples about lying to clients, or cheating a customer. Or a spouse or a family that doesn’t really approve of our Christian activities and will ruthlessly exploit any weakness they detect in the Christian. 

Whatever befalls us in our Christian walk, we know that he will be with us to lead and guide us, to comfort and encourage us, to strengthen and inspire us.  The relationship between Christ and the Church is likened in scripture to marriage, so we might say, ‘For better or for worse’, he will never leave or forsake us.

Most merciful Father, thank you for life, which we so often take for granted. Help us to realise that life is preparation for our future, not all that there is. In comparison with so many Christians  down through time, many of us have it so easy. We need your vision and perspective in our lives to stay on track and up to speed. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

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