“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:12, ESV) Who in this world would suggest you should be joyful and consider yourself blessed when you are under persecution – even less so when you are ‘for heaven’s sake’ being persecuted for doing good stuff ! Crazy right? Wrong! Imagine you are a great baseball fan and someone gave you the glove of one of the greats – Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio . . . wouldn’t it feel amazing to put your hand inside that glove and know that your hand is in the place where one of the greatest players of all time had his hand for years. You are ‘walking’ with that player in a sense. So, in that same way but infinitely more so, when we are persecuted for our faith – we are ‘wearing the glove’ Jesus played with – so to speak. We are walking in the footsteps of our Master and our Savior. Nothing could be better than that and there will be a wonderful greeting for us on that day when we arrive on the other shore and we see Jesus. This makes no sense to someone who doesn’t know Jesus – but it is crystal clear to all who are following Jesus. Amen.