Today the Church remembers the Martyrs of New Guinea. These were eight missionaries and two Papuans killed by invading Japanese forces in 1942. I want to take a moment and reflect on martyrdom.

The question that Christians must always ask of themselves is this: “What am I willing to die for?” For these martyrs, they were willing to die for their faith even in the face of execution. It’s a question that ought to be turned on us. What are you willing to die for?

This question might shock us, because as Americans, we are more accustomed to asking ourselves, “What am I willing to kill for?” That answer might actually be easier: our family, our property, etc.

But the Christian question is one of sacrifice, not of violence. Our Lord was killed, and part of our journey toward godliness is to imitate Christ. So we must not be shocked if the Church asks us how we value our lives in context of our own death.

The Rev. Jimmy Abbott