You can't be a witness to the world if you hide or retreat from it. Making the invisible Kingdom visible requires putting faith into action. The people who ran toward the chaos at the Boston Marathon this past week, whether they were Christians or not, certainly acted in Christlike fashion. And responders both professional and voluntary who lent their hands to the victims of this week's several terrifying events symbolized the kind of courage demanded of Christ's Church in times of grave darkness, both physical and spiritual. And even when many of our society's information outlets preferred to keep silent about the chilling case of Kermit Gosnell, Christians and others of conviction took to alternative media channels and shone a spotlight on the true face of "choice," gruesomely revealed by this abortion doctor's murder trial.
During this week's broadcast, John Stonestreet and Prison Fellowship CEO, Jim Liske discuss the Christian call to reveal God's Kingdom by bringing the light of help, hope and truth to dark places. We'll also hear again from Naghmeh Abedini, wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, for an update on her husband's plight in Iran's infamous Evin Prison, and the difference the prayers and encouragement of God's people have made for him.
The deaths, the suffering and the evils this week has brought crush our hearts. Yet for those who know the God Who overcomes sin and death, countering horror with hope and responding to pain with compassion are standing orders. The heroes of Christian history had a militant faith which compelled them to rush into the maw of chaos, disease, and persecution in order to proclaim the truth and intervene on behalf of the hurting. As their heirs, we must not allow darkness to obscure the Kingdom which Jesus said is not far off and intangible, but "is in your midst." (Luke 17:21) We must reveal that Kingdom in our very lives, following Jesus' example of revoking the Curse one ache at a time, and showing the world that terrorism, persecution and tragic accidents have had their right to exist revoked in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps John Stonestreet expresses it best when he quotes Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who gave his life fighting the darkness of his time, and leading the faithful Church to rescue the oppressed:
"[Bonheffer] would have had something to say about all of these events," says John. "He had this line...he thought that Christianity had to walk in the real world. He said, 'Come out into the tempest of the living.' Sometimes the living doesn't seem quite as tempestuous as it has this week. But when we talk about the Kingdom of God, there's no illusions about it. The kingdom is the reality of God in a world that sometimes looks like this."
Visit SaveSaeed.org, where you can keep up-to-date on pastor Abedini's situation, sign the petition, send him letters and learn other ways to help and pray for this persecuted missionary and his family.
Be sure to listen to the two previous editions of "BreakPoint This Week," (part 1 & part 2) in which you'll find more ways to make the invisible Kingdom visible.