MERRY TUESDAY BY PARRIS
“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Rev. 6:10
All of our eyes have turned toward Kabul, Afghanistan this week, watching the Taliban take over the city in a matter of days. It is estimated that some 12,000 Christians are living in the underground church. World Magazine Mindy Betz said that the house church received letters from the Taliban warning them that they “know where they are and what they are doing”. The underground church has responded back that they will not back off nor leave. Women and girls most likely will have their education and rights taken away. All around the world Christians are being persecuted.
Tertullian said, “The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church.” He saw how the blood of murdered Christians planted the seeds that would grow faith because a martyr’s willing sacrifice of their lives leads to the conversion of others. In times of persecution, pestilence, and plagues Christians should look up as Stephen did as he saw the “heavenly vision”.
Ignatius said, “In response to their anger, be gentle; in response to their boasts, be humble; in response to their slander, offer prayers; in response to their errors, be steadfast in the faith; in response to their cruelty, be civilized; do not be eager to imitate them . . . [instead] let us be eager to be imitators of the Lord, to see who can be the more wronged, who the more cheated, who the more rejected, in order that no weed of the devil may be found among you.” As he wrote to the church in Rome, “Christianity is greatest [most like Jesus] when it is hated by the world” (4.3).
Ellicott says; “it was the blood of Abel (Genesis 4:10), the earth disclosed her blood, and refused to cover her slain. The forgotten or ignored wrongs of generations come forth from oblivion and cry for vengeance. It is a poetical description, but it is not fiction. The righteous blood shed does fall upon the world in retribution: the laws of God avenge themselves, though the victims do not live to behold the reward of the ungodly.”
Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters that are being killed, beaten and persecuted that they will hold fast and in doing so, join with them to lift up the cause of Christ in our own city and neighborhoods.