Hebrews 13 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews is a book with so many hidden treasures! As I look in the context of this verse I since a great deal of encouragement to the reader to "hold fast to the faith", "persevere in hard times" and "support one another in times of persecution". I also sense a calling here that humbles me a bit!
For reasons I do not completely understand I know I have been insulated from the reality that Christ followers around the world are imprisoned and persecuted for their faith! I am sure it has something to do with the lack of commercial media attention and that in our country we do not have a culture of persecution but the reality I am living with this week is that my brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe are imprisoned and treated unjustly precisely because of their faith.
As I think about it I typically respond by thanking God (especially this time of year) for living in a country that is religiously free. That is good - I need to do that - but perhaps I am being called to more! After I thank God perhaps I should "Remember, those in prison ... and those who are mistreated...!" This gives me pause... ... ... especially in light of the prayers I will pray and listen to (alone, with family and at church) all next week. I will undoubtedly "thank God" for the culture and country I get to freely live in. Now I get to add to those prayers heartfelt petitions for those "who are in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering"
This is good! This is practical! This could change Thanksgiving Day meal praying in a very positive way!
I don't feel guilty about forgetting about my suffering brothers and sisters - I don't think God wants me to - I do feel inspired, instructed, equipped. God is good!
What do you think? How are you feeling about what God is saying?