For over a thousand years, followers of Islam have been waging genocide against anyone who disagrees with them. A little over a year ago, some of these followers murdered twenty-one Coptic Christians in Libya on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. We remember these particular victims because their murderers made a video.
They died with the name of Jesus on their lips. Because of the video, they were able to confess Christ to the world. Christ will remember them. (Luke 23:42-43). Christ will remember us all. (John 6:37-40).
Some give their lives to Christ in one bold act of confessing his name at the edge of a sword, while others give their lives through countless acts of service to others. All Christians must give their lives because Christ gave his. Christ gave his life, and we must follow him.
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
— Luke 9:23-25, ESV.
President Harrison of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod made a short video commemorating the anniversary of the martyrdom of the twenty-one Coptic Christians:
For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way.
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
— “For All the Saints,” LSB 677:1-2, 7-8.