Sunday, January 25, 2009

Two Sets of Brothers

This week's gospel focused on Jesus gathering his followers and He began by telling two sets of brothers to leave off their fishing, leave their families, friends, business, and follow Him. Again, the words of last week, "Follow me" are focusing Christians on what that means, exactly.

There's a great sermon called Strength to Love that talks about what that means, and how we, as Christians, follow Christ. In reading that, and thinking about the concept -- how much are you willing to give up, in order to follow the path of Christ -- got me thinking about how Christians, or people of any religion must ask the same question of themselves.

With the background I had, the first story that came to mind was one of a young girl named Mona, whose story of her faith is told here. There is a play based on her life which asks the question, "When the Moment Comes" -- what will you do. If everything is laid on the line, do you deny your faith for a moment in order to live for whatever your reasons are, or do you remain steadfast in your beliefs, knowing that it may ultimately lead to your death?

And then a friend of mine recommended looking at the website Who Will Save Iraq's Christians which tells stories of Iraqi Christians fighting for their lives, livelihoods, homes and children, and often simply fleeing before the persecution they experience there.

And from there my thoughts ran to what Christians have done in the past when persecuted and forced underground, and how they recognized one another -- the symbol of the fish in the first centuries of the common era, the forget-me-not flowers used by some Christians (Masons) during WWII because of their aid for Jews, and of course, the symbol of the Cross today.

So in that chaos of thoughts, it still comes down to the questions: How will you follow Christ? How will your life change because of your beliefs? How will your actions change because you are a Christian? How do you follow him?

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