The first person I met who publicly attacked Christianity was an English professor at the University of Kansas. He was a likable guy, but whenever he quoted the Bible he made sure to call it Christian Mythology. He inflected his voice one octave higher and spoke slowly when he said the words Christian Mythology. No one challenged him. Everyone wanted to pass the course.
Later, during graduate school, I witnessed followers of Jesus ridiculed and intimidated in the classroom for their belief that Jesus is the only lasting answer to an ever faster collapsing humanity.
These were non-political, humble followers of Jesus. They were afraid. But, their faith and perseverance, all rapped in love, taught me so much.
Last week out of the blue, while we were climbing out of our van, my six-year-old son Lucas said: Jesus came into the world to show us what good is.
He said it like - Jesus can show us chocolate cake tastes great, or Jesus can show us waterslides are cool, or Jesus can show us birthday parties are fun.
Lucas said it like there is no way we could enjoy any of these things if it were not for Jesus.
The hair on the back of my arms stood up ... I knew Lucas was right.
The Bible teaches us that although our faith will bring us internal peace, we can expect to suffer at times for following Jesus. As one Christian writer put it, the people who attack us are not the enemy, but hostages to the enemy. People who persecute us are also God’s children.
In time some of them will come to recognize the author of everything that is good and the eternal truth Lucas unknowingly spoke about.
And, for some it will be the hope, the faith, and the love we reflect ... while we suffer for our belief in Jesus ... that will draw them home.
... Father, above all else, thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ. Father, thank you for little children who teach us big lessons about Your love for us. Father, we pray for those who do not know Your love and peace. Father, command our spirits to act in love, so that You are glorified. In Jesus name we pray ...