Words from the Heart for Wednesday April 22nd, 2020
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
Rejean Hinse was convicted for aggravated robbery and sentenced to 15 years in prison for his alleged part in the armed robbery in December 1961 of a general store in Mont-Laurier, Quebec. He campaigned to establish his innocence based on the fact that he had been in Montreal, over two hundred kilometres away, at the time the crime was committed. In 1997 he was acquitted by the Supreme Court of Canada. Hinse was awarded $13.1 million compensation, the largest wrongful conviction award in Canadian history.
We all remember instances in our childhood when we were accused of doing something we didn’t do. We were left with a sense of injustice and we usually demanded to be heard by the “Supreme Court” called mom and dad. We innately have a sense of justice and while false accusation in childhood is painful, when we are adults it can be life changing. Too many innocent people have spent time in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. How do we respond when the false accusation has to do with our Christian life? Jesus answers that question in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” We can expect to be understood and accused of things we have not done. If that was the case with Jesus, it is certainly true for us. When that happens, we are called to rejoice – to be glad for the payback that will be ours in Glory. We are called to keep eternity in mind.
These have been words from the heart.