I was asked what I wanted to "pray for" at "A Gathering to Pray and Remember Persecuted Christians" held last night.
Knowing the host church would not allow me to participate in "their" observance of Holy Communion, I said I'd like to pray for persecuted Christians in America.
A Gathering to Pray and Remember Persecuted Christians
November 12, 2014
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Proverbs 14:25-27, 34
Your word is clearly conclusive even if increasingly ignored and not compelling to our world, America, churches, commerce, public schools, families, and marriages: “Return to Me and I will restore you.”
As we pray for people around the world this evening who are being increasingly bruised, beaten, battered, and butchered for loving You by loving like You with the compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and agape of Jesus, we see and sense the increasing persecution of Christians in America.
Except for isolated instances at the demonically inspired hands of jihadists, people who love Jesus by the book in America “have not resisted to the point of shedding blood.”
We admit to superficial, trivial, and inconsequential protestations of persecution like fears of our deodorants not keeping us dry all day long, the temperature in the sanctuary being too cold or hot, the volume of the music being too low or loud, someone looking at us the wrong way, being told that it’s Biblical to tithe at least and urged not to act so boorishly toward each other as bad witnesses to Jesus, and other eventually embarrassing examples of selfishness, pettiness, and idolatry.
Yet when elected officials at the highest levels of government read Holy Scripture out of context to herald blasphemies, courts and law enforcement censor and curtail confessions consistent with Jesus by the book, public schools only invite You and Yours back after tragedy as a salve rather than before as the preventive solution, Your prophets are told not to use Your enfleshed name when asked to invoke Your presence and beg Your blessings at public celebrations and dedications, separation of church and state is a one way reality in favor of the state, and so many increasing affronts to Your holiness in number and intensity, we know America is not immune to the tribulations of these end times.
Yes, Lord, we understand by Your example in Jesus and explanations in Holy Scripture that we will be hated and hurt by people who hate and hurt You.
We are not immune to the increasing instances and intensity of persecution as prophesied.
And while we rejoice to suffer for Christ’s sake as we remember those who “endure to the end will be saved,” we beg Your Holy Spirit to encourage the increasingly persecuted of America as well as world to the heaven/paradise – the pure and perfect place of personal peace where there is no more pain or tears forevermore – that awaits as assurance enabling strong calm sanity and peace through the increasingly meantimes.
Thank You for inspiring our hosts for this gathering to overcome the separations, segregations, and fencings of Your people by unchristian traditions and idolatries so we may be as one people under You to look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus in whose saving name we pray.
Here's a rhetorical question for ya.
If people who say they love Jesus by the book in one franchise fence "their" tables from other people who say they love Jesus by the book in other franchises, how will people who don't know Jesus as Lord and Savior ever be convinced by those who say they love Jesus as Lord and Savior yet segregate, separate, and fence themselves from other people who say they love Jesus as Lord and Savior that Jesus overcomes the idolatrous humanisms that segregate, separate, and fence to bring together everyone into one great family of faith through Him as Lord and Savior?
That was complicated and confusing.
Just like franchises pretending to know Jesus by the book who segregate, separate, and fence themselves from...
Oh, I get it.
My translation of the Bible must be wrong.
Theirs says, "Come to Me, everyone, all yu'uns, except for..."
I knew that guy who keeps showing up at games with the John 3:16 poster is nuts.
Blessings and Love!
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