Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Lamentations 5:1-22 & 1 Peter 3:13-22.

1 Peter 3:14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated. (NRSV)

Fear is the instrument that manipulators use to control people. In Roman times, when the apostle Peter was writing this letter, fear was the weapon that the Emperor used to keep his opponents silent and the people subdued. Whenever Caesar issued a threat it made the politicians and population cower. The fear of reprisals negated any opposition, so the Emperor could do what he liked.

Christians, however, in those days, were willing to speak out and suffer for their faith. They did not surrender their souls to the Empire or totally submit to Caesar’s authority. They stood up for what was right and even though it cost them everything, they were not willing to exchange or compromise Christ’s teaching for peaceful lives and expedient results. They understood that to be disciples of Christ meant that their allegiance was to a higher authority, law, and kingdom.

Application: Am I guilty of compromising my faith? Does Jesus have my total allegiance?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we try to be Your disciples and hope that we please You with our lives. Grant us the courage of the First Christians and help us to stand up for justice, mercy, and love. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest Holy Week drawings called ‘Son Set.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.