Thursday, July 13, 2017
Juggernaught: Chapter 25 - The Decisions We Make II
There in the humble village of mud and sticks Mac Crieche preached every opportunity he could get. There he stood, day after day, in the shadow of En, calling out to the crowd that righteousness before God was not an achievement to be earned, but a gift to be accepted.
The first to realize the significance of that was his pagan assistant Charelle-En. When he told her she only need trust in Christ and then be baptized, her pale blue eyes seemed to come alive like the rumbling of grey-green clouds rolling in off the ocean.
It reminded him of home for some reason.
At her baptism, Charelle-En (which meant the power of En) was given a new name, as was the custom in those days. He immediately thought of "Sharon" being the closest name from the Bible. She accepted it gladly and was baptized one crisp autumn morn and then removed as quickly as possible from the stinging cold stream.
Mac Crieche didn't fare so well. As he was about to climb ashore the first of many approached him, wanting to do the same.
Not only did he have to stand in the icy water long enough to perform a dozen more ceremonies, but he also took the time to question each to determine whether they really understood what it meant.
And so it went. By the time a year had passed, about half the village had accepted and was becoming a vibrant, perhaps even overzealous, Christian community.
With all of this going on, it didn't take very long to get the priests of En in a fit. More and more, Mac Crieche would gather a crowd for a sermon at the town square, only to find the place occupied by a ceremony to En.
Neither side believed this was coincidence.
As fate would have it, at one of these events, he was surprised to spot Gorki (or "Gerome"), one of his converts.
Later, when questioned, the man said that he believed everything the Bible said, but feared the wrath of En if he did not see him among the people. He said most of the people felt the same way, attending the gatherings of Christ out of faith, but still doing lip-service to En out of fear.
Mac Crieche was confused by Gerome's words. How could these people still attend the bloody ceremonies of En? Unless... They believe the idol of En was truly alive and powerful!
He knew what he must do. All at once his dream made sense. If he should topple the stone idol and he could demonstrate its true powerlessness.
Yet... if he dared perform such an audacious act, the wrath of the priests of En would be terrible. To his credit, he had no fear for his own sake, yet Gerome and Sharon and the rest, they stood to lose everything!
How could he choose between utterly eliminating such a great evil, yet at the expense of those who loved and trusted him most?
What to do? ... What to do?