Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Remembering by Christmas lights

This past Sunday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Our church supports Voice of the Martyrs and often calls the persecuted church to remembrance. We watched a short film dramatizing the arrest and torture of a young Chinese woman, the editor of an underground Christian newspaper. At the end of the film, it noted that she spent six years in prison - making Christmas lights for America. A man from our church went to the front to pray, and before he prayed he called on the fathers to lead their families in remembering our brothers and sisters in bonds whenever we see Christmas lights and even planning to set aside time throughout the holidays to specifically remember and uplift them in prayer, perhaps by the light of our Christmas tree.

This is what I want to do. Challenge you. Spread the word. The Christians in China are mocked and humiliated by having to make Christmas lights. Why don't we remember them by Christmas lights? What if so many people committed to do this that it would no longer be a mockery to those Chinese believers, but an encouragement and reminder that the lights they made would be a sign for their American brothers and sisters to uplift them in prayer?

So this Christmas, when you turn of the lights to admire your tree, remember the church in China. When you load up the van and head off to see Christmas lights, pray for those who were put in a van and never seen again. When you tromp down a street in the wintry cold admiring the lights in the shop windows and on the lampposts, remember your brothers and sisters in cold prisons. Gather your family and remember by Christmas lights.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:3, ESV)

And then, let's take the challenge one step further. If you buy Christmas lights made in China, would you commit to donating $1 for each strand to the persecuted church? Think of it as helping the family of that Christian who may have made those lights. Just go to Voice of the Martyrs and click on donations.

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy...
-from Hebrews 11


Jennifer said...

We discussed this last night in our family devotion time. Pretty amazing. I like the idea of donating to the persecuted church when we buy our lights.

Leigh Ann said...

Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing it.