Stand Erect and Raise Your Heads

"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, 
and on earth nations will be in dismay, 
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 
People will die of fright 
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, 
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 
And then they will see the Son of Man 
coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 
But when these signs begin to happen, 
stand erect and raise your heads 
because your redemption is at hand."
- Luke 21

In this chapter, Jesus warns the Jews of difficult times ahead.  He tells them that there will be great trouble and distress, that they'll be hemmed in from all sides - and that all they can do is to flee.  Yet He also says that this is the time to "stand erect and raise your heads".

Much like today's news, many Christians around the world - in the Middle East in particular, are being persecuted. It's dangerous to be a Christian in certain parts in the world.  The other parts of the world are increasing in secularism and relativism rapidly.  God is oftentimes shoved into the backdrop and summoned only as a last resort.

People put the blame on religion all too easily ans say that more death and destruction are wrought by war than any other cause.  They want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Christianity is unlike all religions in as it teaches us to love our enemies and the God whom we serve wants to be our friend and our Father.  It is the only religion where a God loved the world so much that He died to save it.  It's not religion, it's a relationship.

I suggest that the real harm is to say you are a Christian and not to live like one.  If being a Christian is so bad then what would you make of Mother Teresa who prayed four hours a day then tended to the poorest of the poor?  If being a Christian is so bad then what would you think of Corrie Ten Boom who saved so many Jews from the holocaust, then forgave her oppressor?  If Christianity is so bad then what would you say of Maximiliian Kolbe who traded his life to save another under Nazi Germany?  There are countless others examples -  one or more for every day of the year - to accuse of being a Christian.

Stand erect. Be who you are in today's world.  Stand amid the rising tide and don't get swept away by values that tell you something other than what Jesus said.

Raise your heads.  Look up to Christ who loved those who crucified Him and who is King over sun and moon and rain and frost and chill. 

Be who you say you are ... a Christian... and you will do a world of good.

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Calej lives in Japan with her husband. She designs and doodles for a living.

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