Christmas is a high point in our lives. We revel in family times, scrumptious food, gift giving, gift receiving, laughter, and joy. What is not to like about Christmas?
If you live in North Korea, you have never heard of Christmas. If you live in any of the other persecuting countries of Christians you have experienced rejection.
Even we of North America have experienced our share of rejection. Our experiences are on a different scale than all-out persecution and martyrdom, but our rejections still hurt us deeply.
Our rejections may have come from Mom or Dad, a mate, a school teacher, an employer or good friend that turned on you.
Life seems to say, “You are not good enough. You never measure up. I am disappointed with you.” People in North America scream for significance and acceptability.
All this rejection experience is true for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, plus, on top of these shared pains, they have also lived with religious persecution. They have been followed, beaten, kidnapped, tortured, raped, imprisoned and martyred.
Our fellow believers have lost loved ones, watched their church building and homes burn to the ground, and their pastors murdered. Rejection upon rejection. What is it like to be separated from family members for years while you rot in a filthy prison, just because you believe in Jesus and His love?
This brings us to the true meaning of Christmas. We may think about food, gifts, and laughter here in North America. Our persecuted family members around the world think of other joys attached to Christmas.
In next week's column, we will start to see the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of our fellow believers around the world. Thanks for praying for the persecuted church!
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. Hear more about the persecuted church at 6 p.m., every Saturday on KWXC 88.9 FM Christian talk radio.