…houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands with persecution…
One of the temptations that floats around the Christian is the temptation to try to bribe God. That’s what Peter tried in Mark 10. He boldly said he had left everything to follow Jesus; surely the goods would come. And Jesus points to a truth: yes, we leave many things, but we gain them and more now… in the Church. Along with persecutions.
Wait. With persecution? Yeah, with persecution. Because we are still in a sinful world, and in a sinful world, there will always be persecution. Jesus reminds us that life in this world will often be lousy, even in the Church, because we are still in the fallen world.
Infertility is a heartbreaking thing. It’s not something we get to bargain our way out of. It is a constant reminder of the brokenness of life here after the fall. Sometimes things don’t get fixed this side of life-to-come. There will be persecution, and not always from evil folks out there. Sometimes our own bodies betray us.
Christ does not fail or betray us, though. Even though we may not have children of our own bodies, we are brought into the family of His Body, the Church. In that Church we together receive forgiveness and grace. We can pour our love out to His children, and receive it from them too. Together we will live in His eternal home, and the persecutions of this life will be remembered no more. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Gracious Father, give peace and comfort to those who long for children, and provide for us warmth and compassion through Your church. Amen.
Rev. Eric Brown
Trinity Lutheran Church, Herscher, IL