Mental exercise. Imagine it’s Thanksgiving Day. You’re seated at the table at home with your family. You’re looking at the biggest feast you’ll have all year. It’s nice and warm inside, snappy cold outside. The house smells wonderful and all of your favorite relatives are there. The Thanksgiving service on the weekend was great. Fantastic music, good sermon.
Got the picture? OK. Time for some cut and paste.
Cut the turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, salads, pie and all of the food on the table. Paste in spicy chicken, rice, dumplings, stir fried vegetables and fresh fruit.
Cut your house and paste in one that’s half the size or smaller. Or a 3 bedroom apartment containing 6 beds. Cut the new dining room suite and paste an old table and a bunch of chairs that don’t match.
Cut your TV(s), VCR(s), DVD(s), computer(s), game system(s), stereo(s), iPod(s), portable(s) and paste one small b&w TV and an AM/FM radio.
Cut the local Christian radio station and paste silence.
Look around the room and cut half of the kids. They died in infancy, so they’re not there. Paste in the woman next door and her 3 children. Paste an empty chair for her husband. He was arrested 6 months ago for telling somebody at the factory about Jesus. She hasn’t been allowed to see him for two weeks, but she keeps trying every day. In the last half a year she’s aged 10.
Cut your church building and paste an empty lot.
Cut the recent church service and paste 8 people in a living room reading the Bible while one keeps peeking out the window.
How many Bibles do you have in your house? Cut them all. While you’re at it, cut every book by Max Lucado, every worship CD, everything recorded by the Gaithers, every poster, card, plaque or T-shirt that has scripture or the name of Jesus on it. Paste one very worn and much mended paperback Bible that has somebody else’s name written inside the cover. It was given to you years ago by a Canadian “tourist” when he was told that you’d given your only Bible to somebody who needed it more. You’ve since heard that it was ripped up into sections to be shared. You’re very happy about that.
Got the picture now?
OK. Bow your head to say grace. “Thank you God for…” What? That none of it’s true? That, try as you might, you can’t even really imagine it?
Sunday November 13 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. For our brothers and sisters for whom it is true. Take time to find out what you can and do what you can to support these Christ followers.
There is much we can learn from them.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3