But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. (Hebrews 10:32-35)
This week we commemorated the feast of the Martyrs of Uganda (read more here: http://lectionarypage.net/LesserFF/Jun/Uganda.html]) and this passage from Hebrews is the first lesson. It is a fitting lesson for a martyrs’ feast day. For most readers of this website, the idea of martyrdom will seem remote and incomprehensible. But the reality is that even in our time, there are Christians whose faith is a witness in danger, and martyrdom is a real possibility.
Thanks be to God, most of us will not be called to offer witness at the expense of our lives. We should not, however, imagine that the Christian’s task is to dwell in comfort and safely. Discipleship is meant to be costly, filled with risk. If being a Christian seems easy and safe, we’re not doing it right.
In this Easter season, we should practice being fearless. After all, we celebrate the fact that God’s love is stronger than death. What then should we fear?
What does a fearless faith look like? Willing martyrs are one sign of a fearless faith. So are truly prophetic preachers, Christians who enter dangerous places to care for those in need, and even more mundane acts of love and faith. The practice of forgiveness after great wrong requires some fearlessness. Believing that a dwindling congregation could end its life — or change dramatically to grow again — requires fearlessness. Every day we are given some choices. Will we have a confident, fearless faith? Will we take the easy path or the risky path? What kind of disciples are we?
Do one fearless thing today. Share what that’s like on your Facebook page, or email a friend, or talk with someone. If we could all encourage one another in bold faith, the world will surely change.