At Christmas: Dying for Jesus

ISIS_Reportedly_Beheads_Four_Christian_Children_in_Iraq_for_Refusing_to_Convert_to_Islam___American_Center_for_Law_and_JusticeAlthough Christians have always suffered for Jesus, today we learn a particularly painful story. The militant state ISIS forces children, Iraqi Christians, and adults to choose: flee, convert to Islam, or die. Episcopal Canon Andrew White tells the poignant story of four of these children in a short video posted on I’ve also posted it on Grose.

Under orders from the Archbishop of Canterbury, his superior, Baghdad Canon White also fled for his life. One Christian man gave in to say the words of conversion rather than see his children murdered. He later called Canon White to ask if Jesus still loved him, explaining he could’t bear to see his children murdered. What would we have done?

Celebrating Christmas

Today, you and I approach Christmas in freedom, in worship, and in giving and receiving gifts and cards from loved ones around the country. My wife and I have friends around the world. We can do more: we can pray for the small, persecuted Christian community in Iraq. We can pray for the children. We can petition our government to do more to support the Kurds, who protect these Christians. You can sign at the American Center for Law and Justice ( I signed the petition. If God has blessed you materially this year, you may want to donate to their cause. You will also be asked to donate.

Given the same choice, what would we have done? What would our children say? How will our Christmas celebration reflect Jesus’ love-in life and in death?


About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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