The Raw Depths of a Martyr’s Peace

       

Christian martyrs praying

The Romans persecuted Christians, burned and crucified them, and sometimes fed them to the lions and other wild beasts. They sometimes dressed Jesus-followers in animal skins and let mobs of hungry dogs gnaw them to death. A sport to entertain the nobility.                      

During this time, many Romans believed that these strange followers of a rogue rabbi couldn’t feel pain.Others had been killed by the Romans for treason, murder, rebellion, theft, non-payment of taxes and any other reason that suited the fancy of the emperor.  They reacted appropriately with shrieks and terror. But Christians went meek as lambs to slaughter, singing hymns, praying, kneeling, holding hands.  It’s believed both Paul and Peter were martyred inRome.

            Of all the original disciples, only John died a natural death while exiled on the Isle of Patmos. Through the centuries, many Jesus-followers have given their lives rather than renounce their faith. When I think of them, these dedicated souls who choose death rather than deny their Christian faith, How little I really know about my Savior. This incredible peace they displayed to the Romans is something I’ve never experienced, never needed. I’m acquainted with the peace He gives in troubled times . . . a living peace. And I expect to have His peace when I die because I know death will catapult me into His presence forever. But this peace that walks into the ring of deliberate suffering and remains calm is foreign.

            I’ve barely scratched the surface of Christ’s substance. Is this the reason many turn their backs on Him? Not for fear of persecution but because they too have barely scratched the surface of Him who said . . .

Blessed (happy) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering),

for they shall inherit the earth!

            Paul, who  had already suffered much, wrote this to the suffering Christians atRome:

            Let us also be full of joy now! let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings . .  (Romans 5:3) 

            Paul was about to become better acquainted with suffering joy. He too offered up his life for his Lord, willingly, obediently and joyfully. 

            For now, North American Christians live in peace, the kind that comes from having a decent government run by decent people who aren’t going to abuse us and our children for sport, then gloat over our spilled blood. If this governmental peace disappears, (I don’t see this happening in my life-time but times change quickly) would I be willing to experience the raw depths of the martyrs’ dying peace? If so, I’ll have to do more than merely scratch the surface of this amazing Person, Jesus Christ.

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About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to The Raw Depths of a Martyr’s Peace

  1. Mary Lucchetti says:

    Rose, your article stirred my heart so deeply. You are such a gifted writer and a bearer of deep truth. Thank you.

    • thanks Mary – stirring – that's something I need on a regular basis Rose McCormick-Brandon Writing from the Heart on Faith & Family Author of articles, short stories, devotionals, profiles, personal experience and Bible studies Blog: Listening to My Hair Grow at rosemccormickbrandon.wordpress.com Editor, Ghostwriter, Member of The Word Guild

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