Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Polycarp serves food to the soldiers who have come to arrest him.
        Polycarp serves food to his arresting soldiers

Polycarp was an old man (at least 86 years old) and probably the last surviving person to have known the Apostle John. His friendship with John was one reason why Polycarp was greatly revered as a teacher and church leader. 

As you read the letter below, look for parallels between this story and the Easter story in the gospels.More online about Polycarp   martyred

The paragraph below is from the Foxe's Book of Martyrs.  It is not
God breathed like Scripture but it is considered reliable history.

Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna, hearing that persons were seeking for him, escaped, but was discovered by a child.After feedting the guards who apprehended him, he desired an hour in prayer, which being allowed, he prayed with such fervency,that his guards repented that they had been instrumental in taking him. He was, however, carried before the proconsul, condemned,and burnt in the market place. The proconsul then urged him, saying, "Swear, and I will release  thee;--reproach Christ." Polycarp answered, "Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never once wronged me; how then shall I blaspheme my King, Who hath saved me?" At the stake to which he was only tied, but not nailed as usual, as he assured them he should stand immovable, the flames, on their kindling the  fagots, encircled his body, like an arch, without touching him; and the executioner, on seeing this, was as ordered to pierce him with as sword, when so great a quantity of blood flowed out as  extinguished the fire. But his body, at the instigation of the enemies of the Gospel, especially Jews, was ordered to be consumed in the pile, and the request of his friends, who wished to give it Christian burial, rejected. They nevertheless collected his bones and as much of his remains as possible, and caused them to be decently interred.   


Though her songs are not likely to be heard on your local Christian radio station, the music of a talented Christian woman is well known in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. The Nuba people know Neima Abiad Idris as the “Peace Singer.” Neima, 49, was a wife and mother of six whose life was cut short by bomb shrapnel on Nov. 6, 2014 when an Antonov bomb struck her home village of Kadir, in the Nuba Mountains.
Neima’s life testimony represents the faith and courage of so many Nuba Christians. She was the mother of four sons and two daughters, and she is a hero and a martyr. She died because she wouldn’t run away from the genocidal terror that targeted her family and her community.
The Nuba people know Neima Abiad Idris as the “Peace Singer.