“So do not be afraid of people. Whatever is now covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known. What I am telling you in the dark you must repeat in broad daylight, and what you have heard in private you must announce from the housetops”.
Matthew 10: 26-27
History tells us, from early biblical days right up to the present day, that people have been martyred for not being afraid as they have stood up for their Christian faith.
Our own patron saint, Andrew reputedly died on a cross we now associate with the Saltire and St Peter, legend has it that he was crucified upside down so that he didn’t emulate Christ’s own crucifixion. Then there was Margaret Wilson the teenage Covenanter from Wigtown in south west Scotland who was drowned at the stake in the Solway Firth in 1685 despite being granted a reprieve by the Privy Council for Scotland. You may remember Cassie Bernall, a 17 year old student shot in the Columbine school massacre in 1999 because she defiantly acknowledged to the shooter that she believed in God or even the 4,000 unnamed Christians world-wide who are estimated to die each year – even in 2020 – for their faith.
As you read this, you will no doubt be thinking of the many other famous and ordinary Christians who have made the ultimate sacrifice of not being afraid as they proclaim their faith in God.
It is highly unlikely that we are at risk of dying for our faith today yet we may still feel insecure at times in following Jesus’s instruction to announce our faith ‘from the rooftops’. These verses encourage us not to be afraid and to share our faith with others – no matter how difficult that can often be in this increasingly secular world.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of faith. Make us bold in our stand for you in these troubled times. Give us courage to speak out for you even if it makes us unpopular or even appear weird among those who do not believe in God.
Read about some of the stories of ancient and modern martyrdom – it might just inspire us to be bolder in our faith.