Friday, May 13, 2016

the public secret

Lewis tells us about a secret society, which he says is fun to join, in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

And there is of course truth to what he says. The men who follow Jesus are all over the world today. Depending on where you are, they are either "dotted" here and there like Lewis says, or thick on the ground. Lewis says that being one of them is rather like being part of a secret society, and there have been times and places (even now, in some parts of the world) where being a Christian DID mean being secret, subversive, and clandestine.  In the early church, they didn't even let non Christians watch as they had their church services, which led many to believe that Christians were cannibals, since they talked about eating flesh and drinking blood.

But, at the same time our faith is very public. We are called to be vocal about what we believe. To share the victory of the cross over sin and death with the whole world. From the earliest days of the faith, we have been declaring the victory of Jesus on the cross to everyone around the world.

We are in fact part of an imperialist organization. But our only form of imperialism is martyrdom. The blood of the martyrs is, and has always been, the seeds of the church.

Even today, Christians are being martyred for their faith. Will that destiny come home to us, here in the richest, most comfortable part of the world? It might. But even if not, we are part of that brotherhood. We live in solidarity with those who DO give their lives for the faith that brings all of us life. Let's not forget to pray for the martyrs.

God, thank You for giving us the great privilege of being part of Your secret, and very public church.

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