Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Message from Donn Start, Principal West Valley Campus

I have a friend who recently had the opportunity to visit Rome. Of all of the attractions that he saw, his visit to the Catacombs, the ancient caverns that wind beneath the streets of Rome, impressed him the most. These were the same caverns where some of the first Christians hid from the Roman soldiers who would take them to their execution for believing in Christ. Here he saw the carvings in the walls of the ancient symbols of their faith - like the cross and the sign of the fish. And here in the walls, they buried loved ones who had been torn to pieces by the lions in the Coliseum all because they would not renounce Christ for Caesar.

The way of Jesus that we claim to walk today was, indeed, very expensive for those first Christians. In parts of the world today, following Jesus remains a risky choice for followers who may suffer or even die for the name of Jesus. And staying passionate cost Jesus everything. So who am I - who are we - that we should get off so cheap?

Jesus made it clear that those committed to Him could expect to make sacrifices each day. in Luke 9:23, He says, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Notice, He didn't say, "Take up your comfortable couch and follow Me." Somewhere we've gotten the twisted idea that following Jesus just means going to church on Sundays, believing His beliefs, throwing a little money His way, and maybe enduring being called a couple of names because of Him. If the price tag gets much higher, we may start to feel sorry for ourselves, to pull back from being a passionate Christian.

I am writing this Phoenix Christian blog to remind myself that I am here today because of some special disciples who refused to quit, no matter what the cost. Because of a Savior who refused to pull back, even when it meant the agony and humiliation of a cross.

Hymn writer, Isaac Watts, nailed it when he stated in the hymn Am I a Soldier at the Cross?: "Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease, when others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?"

Thank you to every Phoenix Christian staff member who makes genuine sacrifices as they live their lives to educate children for Jesus. I continue to be impressed with Phoenix Christian teachers and staff and feel blessed to be a member of this special Christian school team.

1 comment:

  1. Donn,

    What a great reminder for us of the sacrifices made and the model given to us by early Christians. I pray that we will be as bold and obedient in the face of opposition or 'persecution' today.

    Thank you for the "good word, well spoken."


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