Last night I caught just a bit of the evening news. On it was a story about some kind of a Christian youth camp. There were young people, actually young children, talking about being martyred for Christ. It was a bit strange and scary listening and watching this “boot camp” unfold on the evening news. I don’t know what the leaders of this group are about and maybe it’s all good stuff. I know St. Teresa of Avila (1500’s) at age 7, along with her brother, went off to be martyred but was stopped by her uncle. She thought it awesome to give her life, indeed her head, for the cause of Christ. Of course hers was a life of service, not violent martyrdom.
The world is in a strange place. The very word “martyr” has been hijacked (oops, sorry), and immediately brings to mind hurting others in the process. Following Jesus is about blessing others. Our mission is to love others, show the kindness and generosity of Christ all the while laying our own lives down for the sake of the Gospel along the way.
Something else that bothered me was a comment by the news commentator, which basically said Christians may be a danger to our country with such zeal. Have we come a long way or what – Christians a danger? How are we going make the transition in this culture of fear and paranoia to love and hope? How will Jesus reach this world through His church in such a time as this?