Last fall, I stumbled upon a blog post by a preschool mom who felt bullied by the other moms at her daughter's school. Who bullied her? The Christians, of course. She started out by saying one or two moms had been unkind, but by the end of the article, all of Christendom was lumped into her rant. Her post was very widely read.
There had already been legislation against bullying (and rightly so). But with outspoken segments of society projecting the assumption that all Christians are bullies, how much longer before that would translate into legislation against Christianity? I already encountered silent animosity or open rejection when acquaintances or strangers discovered that I follow Jesus Christ. Would my children someday be legally reprimanded for doing the same?
God says, "Do not fear."
Did that stop me? No. I just piled on the guilt. Despite verses like Matthew 10:28, I couldn't shake it. Gripping fear. Clinging. Growing stronger week by week.
Then the Hallelujah Chorus was sung in Macy's. Remember? Beautiful. Brought me to tears. God glorified in Macy's, around the internet, around the world.
Did you see any of the succeeding performances? My fav was the Chorus Niagara in the food court at the Welland Seaway Mall.
They started with one soprano. Strong. Confident. Alone.
She was joined by a powerful, booming tenor, decrying eternal praise in his hoodie and jeans, standing on his chair. Then a couple over by the trash cans. Then another two on their chairs. Then the janitor, swinging wide the "Wet Floor" sign in his hand, bellowing, "Hallelujah!"
One by one, the members of the chorus stood in place and belted out praise, until they were 100+ voices strong, proclaiming unequivocally the forever reign of the Lord God Omnipotent. A powerful force to be reckoned with.
As I watched that food court video, hot tears of relief streamed down my cheeks and fear fled screaming into the abyss as Almighty God whispered His everlasting truth softly to my heart.
God has set eternity in the hearts of men (Eccl 3:11). His kingdom thrives in my spirit. In individuals. In every nation on earth. One voice at a time. One hundred voices strong. One million. One billion. Never to be silenced.
It doesn't matter what kind of legislation is passed against my faith because God's kingdom exists in my heart, and it is impossible to legislate the heart. Jesus Christ, who will slay evil with a single breath (2 Thess 2:8), said in Matthew 16:18, "I will build My church! And the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail against it."
I've encountered disparaging comments against Jesus on several occasions since I watched that video, but Jesus Himself set me free from the crippling fear those comments used to produce, and if the Son sets me free, I am free indeed. Now, each time the gates of hell attempt to prevail against the church, I am reminded that they fight an immovable, impenetrable, omnipotent, sovereign God, whose plan will succeed no matter what.
"God preserves His order despite our chaos." ~ Elizabeth Achtemeier