From the Communion Line to the Line of Fire

From the Communion Line to the Line of Fire

Sunday, January 11, 1998
| Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Not much is heard about the persecution of Christians in the world today. It seems to be a well-kept secret. But it is a reminder to us that to experience God's pleasure does not mean life is all pleasure.

Baby chicks are among the cutest of God's creatures. Have you ever tried to tell one fluffy, yellow baby chick from another? Newly hatched these little balls of down are intentionally designed to be as alike as possible. Their identical sizes, uniform pigmentation, round shape; and quickly imprinted behaviors make a joke of the notion of "cloning" -- what would be the point?

Every now and again, however, some baby chick has the misfortune to "stand out" in some way. Perhaps it has a distinct dark or light spot in its feathers. Perhaps it is smaller than the rest. Perhaps a run-in with a sharp stick or a bit of fencing gives it a red scratch or a slight limp. Whatever the distinguishing mark may be, it is almost certainly a mark of death. The other chicks, despite their adorable, cuddly appearance, are programmed pitilessly to peck and persecute any chick in their midst who appears to be somehow different. A tiny scratch will become a beacon attracting the savage pecks of all the...

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