The recent mass murder of 21 Coptic Christians is a sobering reminder that we follow a Savior who is not only triumphant but one who suffered as well. Christ told us Himself that the world would hate us because it hated Him.
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19
These horrible attacks have fallen just ahead of the beginning of the Lenten season. Being raised Anabaptist, I knew very little about the church calendar, but I am beginning to appreciate the way it divides up our year and facilitates the remembrance of the immeasurable goodness of God to us! Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday. It is a time to consider the lowliness of Christ and the cost of discipleship, and to renew our appreciation for what His suffering achieved for us. Below is a link to a beautiful explanation of Lent. Please consider how you might incorporate this season into your devotional life. Let this time encourage us to not be surprised when persecutions come and to remain joyful in the knowledge that one day all will be made right.
For a fantastic explanation of Lent click here.
Luke 9:22-26. “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”