Sunday, 7 June 2015
Who invites someone to suffer and expects a 'Yes'?
For those unfamiliar with Public Profession of Faith (as practiced in the Christian Reformed Church), this is a highly celebrated event in the lives of Christian believers where a person is asked several questions in front of a church regarding their Christian faith. And, if they agree and believe the statements of faith as presented, they answer in the affirmative: "I do". After which, the professing members are welcomed with these words, spoken by the minister presiding over the ceremony:
"I welcome you to full participation in the life of the church. I welcome you to its responsibilities, its joys, and its sufferings." Christian Reformed Church - Profession of Faith Form
Here's why...and I can think of two answers, but there are probably more.
First - as crazy at it sounds, suffering draws people together. It unites. I think it probably draws more people together than a celebration (except maybe a royal wedding!). Recently, several people within my Christian family have either been diagnosed with cancer, lost dear loved ones to death, or have been involved in an accident. And amazingly, we are drawn to one another. In our shared tears, we become the hands and feet of Jesus and become his agents of peace and healing. In our shared humanity, we are called to cry with those who cry and laugh with those who laugh.
That's the best part is...if we share in Christ's suffering, we get to share in his glory! How cool is that?
It's easy to write this. I know. I just pray that when I get a side dish of suffering God will give me two things - the strength to 'walk the talk', and people to cry and laugh with. I've never worn a real crown!