It has been hot here in Connecticut recently. Now, I know those of you in states like Florida, Texas, New Mexico or Arizona, you laugh. Hot? We’ll show you hot! Nevertheless, for New England, when it gets between 90 and 100 degrees with 62 percent humidity – it’s hot. The opposite is the case in January when temperatures are regularly in the teens. I mention this because the weather affects what we do. In an effort to be safe, we do not go out much in the middle of a blizzard or a heat wave. I fear, however, we have become a bit spoiled. Americans are a little too attached to their comfort. It is a common first world problem. Can you ever imagine buying a car today that does not have air conditioning? Forget that. We would not consider a car without cruise control or on board GPS. We are in the midst of developing self-driving automobiles because, I guess it is too taxing to drive ones car? Where am I going with this?
Well, I have long been a supporter of the organization Voice of the Martyrs. This ministry does everything it can to help, support, and encourage the persecuted church all over the world. Places like Comoros. Have you ever heard of Comoros? Comoros is an island nation in the Indian Ocean between African mainland country of Mozambique and the island of Madagascar. Nearly 99 percent of Comorians are Sunni Muslim, and family members and the government heavily persecute anyone who leaves Islam. Believers must meet in small groups and can only share their faith through one-on-one personal relationships. Every time believers gather to read their Bibles or speak about their faith, they risk physical and societal persecution from their communities as well as imprisonment by the government. Recently, all foreigners associated with an international church were expelled, and some locals were arrested when a children’s Bible was discovered in boxes of toys donated to Comorian children.
Yet, they still gather faithfully, every Sunday. All around the world men, women, and children risk their freedom and/or their lives in order to meet together and worship the Lord. However, here in Connecticut (and all across America really) all too often, I hear, “It’s too cold. It’s too hot. I was up really late last night. The moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter has aligned with Mars, so I’m not going to be in church this morning.” I wonder what a family from Comoros would say.
Now, God is not taking attendance, but our desire to give Him worship does reveal something about our faith. About our heart. As the Bible says in Hebrews 10, “…let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
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