People Watch

As with many of you, I enjoyed a wonderful Palm Sunday celebration this morning with my congregation.  Another reminder of the privilege that we enjoy in being free to practice our religion (as opposed to being free to worship, as some are more inclined to try and redefine it these days).  In our Bible Study time this morning, we talked about the call to be humble, to be willing to be a servant even when that means that we ourselves suffer dishonor or contempt.  The Scripture readings for this morning (Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11) emphasized the humility of Christ, an unusual focus on a day when it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem.

In our Bible Study time we talked about how we as Christians need to be humble, something that’s hard to remember when Christianity has been top dog in Western civilization for close to 1500 years.  We have to remember this though, because people are watching, and they watch to see how we conduct ourselves.
So this article about a crackdown on Christian house churches in China seems rather fitting at the end of this day.  While Christianity is tolerated primarily through State controlled churches, there has been greater freedom for less official house churches in recent years.  But that appears to have changed recently.  Why?  The wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East against repressive regimes.  True, these uprisings have undoubtedly been led by and based in mostly Muslim populations, but the article notes that mosques were a primary ground for feeding the discontent.  Chinese officials have perhaps decided that they need to clamp down on churches in their own country, less they prove to be identical focal points of dissension.
We are so blessed.  Pray for those who at this most exciting time of the church year are unable to worship their risen savior freely.

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