Monday, December 24, 2012

Words from our founder: Christmas in jail

Flickr / perpetualplum
Christmas is approaching. Many brethren and sisters will spend it in Communist, Muslim or Buddhist jails.

But, some may say, Christmas is a time when we sing carols and hallelujahs while many people give gifts to one another. Why trouble us with sad words about suffering?

My response is that at Christmas we are supposed to remember not only that a Saviour was born, but that Mary the mother of Jesus had to give birth to Him in a stable and was forced to put Him in a feeding trough for cattle.

Was it really true that there was no room in the inn? Perhaps the innkeeper or some guest with no wife and child could have slept elsewhere and yielded their beds to Mary and the Christ Child.

Why shouldn’t we feast this one Christmas in a place like theirs, perhaps in the poorest quarter of town, and bring our children there to tell them the Christmas story? Then the angels would sing as they did on the Judean hills. Some magi might come and, though this is unlikely, some shepherds might leave their beautiful churches and, like their forebears of 2,000 years ago, join you in an orphanage or shelter for the homeless.

At the very least, remember on that evening the believers in jail for their faith. Their mothers who taught them the way of sacrifice might need you more than the pleasant, neatly dressed woman next to you in the pew.

The Voice of the Martyrs was founded in the mid-1960s by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned and tortured by Communist authorities in his native Romania for 14 years. While still in prison, Pastor Wurmbrand envisioned a ministry that would focus on the plight of the persecuted Church, raise a voice on their behalf, and provide encouragement and assistance to them.

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