The Advocate

14 02 2008

You’ve got to respect Steven Spielberg for his principled stand about the Beijing Olympics. He is deeply moved by the terrible suffering of those within Sudan, and is calling on China as a powerful ally of that nation to exert pressure for the alleviation of pain and trauma within the African country. Undoubtedly Spielberg’s action will entail a certain amount of cost and loss to him financially and professionally, but it is refreshing to see someone act on conviction and out of compassion.

As I watched the news footage yesterday, however, my mind instantly skipped to the silent sufferers within communist China itself – my brothers and sisters in Christ. No celebrity (as far as I know) has foregone prestige and paypacket to speak for the insufferable conditions in which many of them live, and violent oppression they face, for simply following Christ.

But such a reaction is all too human on my part. I’m not seeing the big picture. They have an Advocate, one who marks their pain, and has shown an identification with their suffering which goes beyond the abandonment of a media project. I am speaking, of course, about Christ. My heart is drawn to Revelation and to the voices of those who are incensed by the suffering of Christ’s church on earth – who cry out ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’. Christ’s response is heart melting. ‘Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed’ (Revelation 6:10-11).

Our brothers and sisters in China (and a whole host of other lands) live under the care of a Sovereign before whom all the kings and rulers will take a knee, and confess HIS Lordship over all. How we need to pray for the Church in these lands, that they would rest in the recompence of their Saviour, and in His intimate concern for their situation.