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The Awesomeness of the Covenant Companion

Of course we'd die for our faith,
we say from the easy chair with a glass
of iced tea nearby, leaving a ring on the table.
We'd be proud to be a martyr for Christ
or at least we hope we would.
He's done so much for us.

The truth of the matter is that I'm thinking
that's the easy answer.  God is not interested
in the easy answer, which is why the second greatest
commandment is to love your neighbor, not
pass some true-false spiritual checklist.

Even that first great commandment is no walk in the park.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind?
We can't even love ourselves or our families with even half our
heart much less God.  We wipe up the ring on the table with a
napkin and wonder if God is setting us up.

It's much harder to tithe faithfully and almost
impossible to think about giving away even
more money to the poor.  How many, honestly,
would prefer the crazy gunman to the guilt of being
compared to the poor widow and her last penny.

Much harder to invite our neighbor or coworker to come to church
or speak out against injustice and sexist or racial slurs.
Much harder to talk about the hard truths in our lives and the reality
that most of us walk in the "shadows of faith" than console ourselves
with believing we'd do the right thing in some theoretical scenario.

Weep for us, you saints of heaven, as we live lives of deceit,
proclaiming we'd make the ultimate sacrifice if called to do so
when the truth is that we can barely sacrifice anything at all.

See, the truth about being a martyr is that you don't have to do a lot.
It's really out of your control.  Somebody kills you because you believe.
It's horrible and terrible and just as horrible and terrible to die without
ever acting on your belief.  To be a true believer, we must love and
act on that love.  Every day.  To everyone.

I fail in this.  Every day.  To everyone.

And the truth of the matter is, that God already knows that.
But Christ rises from the tomb.  So I rise every morning
to try again to live the truth out of love, forgiveness, and redemption,
to be a martyr to all the things that would take me away from Christ
from the things that matter.


Brumberg Stevens, Krista. "The Truth of the Matter." The Covenant Companion July 2011: 37

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