Peter Brown writes in his book, The Body and Society, that the early Christians
were deeply concerned that the frail, mortal body should become a
reliable container for the Spirit of God, even in the face of torture
and death. A fresco in the Church of St. Cecilia showing them giving
their possessions away — and there are similar frescoes in other
Roman churches honoring martyrs — seems to indicate that this was
a way to prepare for possible martyrdom. It makes sense. If you can’t
let go of your things, how will you let go of your life?
(Compassion Vol 61, 2000)
Friends and family were shocked when we gave away all (or anyway almost all) of our material possessions to move into this little apartment-hotel to preach the gospel. For us, it was an easy step. When we finally decided that we were going to follow Christ whole-heartedly it became much easier to give up all that we had. In fact, we celebrated the giving away, it brought a sense of freedom that I had not felt before. Is God calling you to give up all that you have and follow him? Do you wonder why you lack peace? Perhaps God is saying to you:
Personal, physical persecution may come sooner than you think if you are following Christ. If you can’t let go of your things, how will you let go of your life?