“Through faith they overthrew kingdoms, established justice, saw God’s promises fulfilled. They muzzled ravening lions, quenched the fury of fire, escaped death by the sword… Others were tortured to death… Others, again, had to face jeers and flogging, even fetters and prison bars. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were put to the sword… They were too good for a world like this. They were refugees in deserts and on the hills, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. These also, one and all, are commemorated for their faith; and yet they did not enter upon the promised inheritance, because, with us in mind. God had made a better plan, that only in company with us should they reach their perfection.” Heb 11.33-40 NEB
“To the martyrs we give the love we owe them as disciples of the Lord. They have loved their king and master with boundless love. How we wish to become their companions and fellow disciples! There we will celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom like a birthday, in memory of those who have fought and won the fight before, and for the strengthening and preparation of those who still have to face it.” (Martyrdom of Polycarp, February 22, A.D. 156)
Let’s sing “Worthy of It All” (click here) by UPPERROOM
Let’s pray: Lord, by your grace may we live up to the calling we have received to live faithfully as Christ’s followers. May we love you with boundless love. In Jesus’ name, amen.