I lost my voice. Yep, completely 100% gone. And for me, there is nothing tolerable about losing one's voice. Sure, it's funny when I try to laugh at my boys' jokes and sound just like Marge Simpson, or possibly her zany sisters Thelma and Selma; but that's where the fun ends. Putting it bluntly, I need my voice to function! I cannot communicate without it! Everything becomes hard; the morning schedule - gone! Telephone calls - impossible! Socializing with my school mum friends - well, okay, so I managed to squeak out a few words here and there with them, but not as many as usual.
Long story short, when one loses their voice, communication of all kinds is next to impossible.
And I believe that the Church is losing its voice. Christians are losing their voices. I have been a Christian for 30 years; I always loved sharing this fact, from when I was a little girl in primary school, right through my working years, into this season as a mum of primary aged kids. It's never crossed my mind to not share this with others; why wouldn't I want to speak the truth of Jesus Christ to others?
Why not indeed? How it saddens my heart to read of so many Christians watering down their faith so as not to offend anyone, to be "inclusive" and "tolerant" and "unoffensive." There is so much pressure on churches and individual Christians to stay mute about so many different issues, that ultimately the message - the Gospel of Jesus Christ - is withheld. Is it because we are afraid of being labelled bigots, or worse - fundamentalists? Or is it that our freedom of speech is becoming less 'free' and more "tow the line or stay silent?"
Our voice - as individuals and as a collective - and our message are clear. In Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, Simon Peter declares this message boldly and confidently - “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6: 68-69).
As Christians in the 21st Century we will face much scorn and ridicule for our faith. In some instances we may even become "Public Enemy #1." The question is, as we used to say, "can you hack it?!" Will you make a courageous stand for your God, in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of his Holy Spirit?
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:37-40 NIV).
Or will you be out-praised by a rock?!