For Saturday April 8, 2023
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil
against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad,
for great is your reward in heaven.”
Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States, a fifty-acre refuge famous for its swan boats, its suspension bridge (the shortest in the world), and for being the setting of the children’s story Make Way for Ducklings. So it’s surprising to learn that in 1651, the Reverend Obadiah Holmes was tied to a post in this park and whipped for preaching Baptist doctrine in Puritan New England. The blood overflowed his shoes.
In our age of religious freedom and pluralistic beliefs, we’re apt to forget about the long line of martyrs whose blood has been spilled for the sake of the Cross, even in America.
When we’re faithful to Christ, we, too, will suffer some level of rejection, ridicule, or disdain. All who are godly will be persecuted. But the sufferings of this life cannot be compared with the glory to be revealed. So when you encounter someone who disdains your faith, “rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
In truth, as the strokes fell upon me, I had such a spiritual manifestation
of God’s presence as the like thereof I never had nor felt,
nor can with fleshly tongue express.