Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Learned in Church Yesterday

Life is funny participation will resume later this week. Today I am feeling serious....I also don't want to use this for my What I Learned post, because this might get preachy in the end, and I don't think that is what that blog carnival is for. But I really want to share what has been in my head and heart since Church yesterday.

Yesterday at Church, a priest from Sudan spoke. He thanked us for our contributions here in America to their school, but also for being a place of refuge for so many Lost Boys. He described adults who were killed, tortured...lost limbs, eyesight....lives. All because they would not renounce their Christian faith. And then he told of the Lost Boys, and I wept. One verse from the Bible popped into my head (though it was not the focus. The Multiplication of the Loaves and the fish were. The priest did a very nice job tying in how God multiplies what we give to those in Africa so that what seems like little helps lots).

Matthew 10:37
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;"

The people who lost their lives, limbs, sight...I felt bad for them...But those who lost parents and children....because they chose Christ....

How often have I held my tongue, under the guise of not wanting to offend someone, because I did not want to sacrifice their good opinion of me? But on the other side of the world, people are sacrificing life, limb, sight, and family for love of Jesus. There are saints in Heaven, Sudanese by birth, shaking their heads at me.

Tertullian once wrote "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" . I don't share this just to beat my breast, and suggest others beat theirs. I share this so that the great sacrifices our Sudanese brothers and sisters have made will inspire us to make smaller ones, and regard these small sacrifices as nothing. Which really, in comparison, it is less than nothing...Isn't it?

Sorry if the post seems spotty, and not well written...
Anyways, God bless you.

10 comments:

Peter P said...

"There are saints in Heaven, Sudanese by birth, shaking their heads at me."

So true... but not just at you, at me too!

Thanks for this reminder, Helen.

jasonS said...

I think this post is wonderfully written from the heart. It is humbling to think of the sacrifices that others make. The truth is they were already dead, crucified with Christ, with Jesus living His life through them. We have the same call and responsibility.

This is a great reminder, Helen- don't just live like you're dying, let Jesus live through you in every breath and every way.

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

I agree with jasonS: wonderfully written and heartfelt. And I loved the same phrase that Peter P did.

It might not be a stretch to say that they're shaking their heads at most Christians in developed countries. Very convicting. Thanks Helen.

katdish said...

Thanks for this Helen. We take so much for granted. We whine and complain about music and buildings, etc.

None of that matters. The Gospel of Christ. That's all that matters.

sherri said...

Not a spotty post, Helen...SPOT ON! We have not even begun to sacrifice, yet we still complain. God help us all.

Beth said...

I'm with everybody else...this was a wonderful reminder and great post, Helen. That verse in Matthew really puts it into perspective, too. That priest's message is reaching farther than he knows!

Wendy said...

It was a very good post, Helen. It's unbelieveable some of the things that are taking place in this world. Just horrifying! Our bad days are nothing compared to theirs.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

You always make me dig a little deeper, Helen. Who am I to say what I can't live without - or what I can live with? I just need Jesus. Don't we all?

Kelli said...

Helen - So wonderfully written, so beautiful, so humbling. Thank you for the much needed reminder. God Bless!

Helen said...

Thanks for the encouragement, friends. I was worried about posting this, but needed to, you know what I mean.