From Father Andrew Bahhi: The Testimony of Our Faith
Our church decided on 16 of every May to recognize the Sayfo. The persecution that happened to our people in 1915 in Mesopotamia, our fatherland. We all have a forefather or mother who has been killed in this persecution. Even though we lost them on earth, their name is written in the book of life.
In Matthew 10:14, Jesus says, “And if anyone will not welcome you or heed your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.”
Those people who gave their life for their heavenly father in 1915 become martyrs. When we offer love to all people around us, when we behave as a good Christian, we also give love, we give testimony. Even like those people who gave their blood to save the faith, we can also do the same today by giving testimony – our love – to those around us. This is how the church will grow.
It’s not easy to forgive, we all know that. But as we know when we plant a tree, sometimes it takes a very long time, until we harvest the fruits. And it is said “Every drop of blood from the martyrs becomes like a seed for the tree of faith. And we are the ones who take the fruit of that faith.”
If we read the history of the church, the first 300 years of Christianity had 10 great persecutions. And in each one hundreds of thousands were killed. Every drop of blood shed then for his heavenly father became the seed for our faith.
That’s why to give testimony or be a martyr allows the church to grow and flourish in faith. Instead of cursing those who murder, we should thank God for the martyrs. They become a model for all of us – as they kept the faith, they remind us how much to give your life for the sake of our faith
In today’s world, we face a different type of persecution. We can see how much on TV and the media, we see the evil trying to get into our kids and destroy our faith. This is mental and spiritual persecution. If you still keep the faith, this is the new way to give testimony and give witness to your faith.
Please heavenly father, help our kids in our community to grow up with a new kind of martyrdom or testimony when they keep the faith.
Teach the kids about your father, grandfather, or great-grandfather – you can keep their original faith by following their testimony and not feel shame that you are a Christian. Keep the faith until the last second of your life!
More from Father Andrew’s sermon video here.
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