Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Christians endure hardship. It's true. Some elements in this world throw a lot of hatred at Christians. The 20th century proved lethal for more Christians, due mostly to political persecution against Christianity, than any previous century. The 21st century is not very old yet, but it currently looks even less tolerant, not only of Christians but of a broad spectrum of religious people.
This shouldn't surprise us if we have read John chapter 15. Jesus even gives a reason to the behavior se see so often. In verse 18 he says the world hated him already, so it tends to hate Christians because they are chosen by Jesus. The world persecuted Jesus. It will persecute you too.
What do we do in light of this expectation? In verse 17 Jesus says we are to love one another. We don't build bunkers or create violent counter-persecution groups. We love one another. And while we're at it, as Jesus loved those who persecuted him, so do we.
The kingdom of God overcomes this world in the way Jesus did. Through love for the world, through the promise of forgiveness and restoration, through the message of everlasting life. In short, people called by the Gospel live by the Gospel.
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