In 1615, John Ogilvie, was the only post-Reformation Catholic to be martyred in Glasgow Scotland. Some years ago, a man was healed of cancer by wearing a medallion of blessed John Ogilvie. I found this intriguing because last week a friend asked me if there was any validity to relics having spiritual power. Then I read in Acts 19 how aprons and scarves that had been touched by the Apostle Paul were taken to people who were sick and they were healed by the anointed garment. My thought was the faith a person brings to the moment of crises can release the love of Jesus even through an inanimate object.
Back to John Ogilvie, because of the miracle the Catholic church investigated his life and the subsequent miracles and elevated John Ogilvie to sainthood. When I was growing up there was a famous preacher from Hollywood Presbyterian Church, Lloyd John Ogilvie. He shared that a friend of his forwarded a book about the blessed saint Ogilvie and changed the title on the cover to read Lloyd John Ogilvie martyred in Hollywood.
After sharing a laugh, the conversation turned serious about what they would be willing to die for. What if it was a crime to be a Christians in America, if we were brought to trial what evidence and material would the prosecutor be able to use to convict us? The lament was most would never be brought to trial, much less be convicted, because so little about what we do and say could be identified as Christ’s power in us. We rarely talk about or act on our faith convictions. The word witness actually means Martyr.
Holy Spirit empowerment most often happens in the Bible when people are engaged in being witness to a Cross-oriented love for people. Do the people in our lives see and experience our forgiving, accepting, and affirming love?
People will express that they want the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. I will share that the best way to obtain the power of the Holy Spirit is to become involved in some specific, costly, way of caring for these people. It is when we are stretched by the demands of loving other, (inconvenienced, financially invested, prayer time logged on behalf of others), suddenly when Christ’s Cross is involved we will encounter a profound experience of the Holy Spirit’s arsenal of gifts.
Martyrdom might not cost your life, but it does cost us time, energy, and our privacy. The reward is an intimate experience of Christ’s Spirit!