Preacher: “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.”
Historic Seeker: “Behold, my most beloved, choose rather to suffer affliction with the children of God”
Preacher: “I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you”
Historic Seeker: “ . . . you may be rewarded with them; for they [the children of God] are the ones to whom belong all the beautiful promises, but they must suffer much . . . “
Preacher: “and you will suffer persecution for ten days.”
Historic Seeker: “ for the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. . . .”
Preacher: “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Historic Seeker: “See, my most beloved, this is the better part and reward of all
those who fear the Lord . . “
Preacher: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.”
Historic Seeker: “walk in His ways and keep His commandments.”
Soetgen van den Houte, who died in 1560, wrote to her children prior to her death encouraging them to remain faithful to their beliefs and their commitment to God. Excerpts of her letter form the responses of “Historic Seeker” while the passage from Revelation 2:10-11 form the call of “Preacher”.
I have to wonder how a mother writes to her children, knowing she will die because of the faith that she is espousing to her children. How do you tell them to remain faithful to what may cause their death? The answer is, because you believe to the depths of your being the importance of what you are saying. And only because, as she said, it is the better thing and the thing that will be rewarded. Think on this too, the writer of Revelation believed to the depth of his/her being that the message being conveyed was of utmost importance. That this call and response fits so well together, coming from speakers separated by many hundreds of years, is testament to the ongoing proof of what each is saying.
May you beloved be not afraid of what me come, and may you choice the better thing through the guidance of our Lord. Selah!