Tag Archives: stories of christian martyrs

  1. Low points and high spots (Acts 6.1 – 7.2a, 44-60; Luke 23.33-34a, 46) [sermon 4-30-2017]

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    April 26, 2017 by jmar198013

    Many look to the book of Acts as a blueprint for how the church ought to be, but it’s really more of a portrait of how the church was–and often is.

    Luke makes sure we see both the low points and the high spots of the first decades of the church. We see some of these in our lesson today, as the church deals with a problem of neglect of minority widows; overwhelmed (and out of touch?) leadership; and the brutal lynching of one of its ministers. These stories all show us both low points and high spots in the life of the early church.

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  2. The witness of Dirk Willems

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    April 11, 2013 by jmar198013

    I suspect that most American Christians aren’t lacking in the courage required to love our enemies. Rather, we assume that loving our enemies might be a form of poor stewardship, and so we lack the imagination and the patience loving our enemies requires. The story of Mennonite martyr Dirk Willems, who saved the life of the tracker who was chasing him to his death, even though it meant certain death for him, illustrates what loving our enemies might require. Perhaps if we paid more attention to the witness of ordinary saints like Willems, we would find ourselves gifted with the imagination and patience needed to love our enemies of Christ’s terms.

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