Description of Activity
When we know martyrs only by their final moments, the way in which they died, we are likely to say to ourselves "I could never do that." But when we look more deeply at the lives they lived, we are more likely to find qualities we have in common with them.
Of martyrs, Susan Bergman has written:
... if we are not all called to this extremity of submission, we can at least recognize-in our own choices to persevere despite personal cost, to honor our beliefs in the contest with doubt-the significance of the daily, incremental decisions that influence who we become, and how we behave. - in "Twentieth Century Martyrs: A Meditation," in Susan Bergman, ed. Martyrs: Contemporary Writers on Modern Lives of Faith (HarperSanFrancisco, 1996)
Can you name a time when your beliefs forced you to choose to "persevere despite personal cost?" What gave you the strength to do so?
Offer to share your story in a column for your congregational newsletter or as a short homily in a worship service, and encourage others to do the same. Talk with the religious educator or religious education committee about ways in which stories of honoring belief despite personal cost might be shared with a Coming of Age group, a youth group, or children in your congregation.