Monday, September 17, 2007

Risky Missions

Risk taker of the day - Boniface, 721 a.d.

"Boniface resorted to reckless challenges to prove the superiority of the Christian God over the pagan god's. For instance he decided to "lay the axe at the root of the tree of superstition."

At Geismar, in eastern Germany, he learned about a huge ancient oak that had been dedicated to Thor, the god of thunder. A tradition had developed that anyone who touched the tree with an axe would be treated as a desecrator by Thor. This involved a curse that would entail either extreme physical illness or death.

In the presence of a large number of pagans, Boniface boldly buried the cutting edge of the axe into the sacred tree. He continued to chop, while the onlookers reviled him and warned him of his impending fate. Before the task was finished, a strong gust of wind toppled the tree. As it crashed to the ground, the tree split into four parts. The pagans expected evil spirits to leap from the shattered tree and swarm Boniface.

Since no misfortune plagued him, Boniface made a cross from the wood. Then assisted by some onlookers who changed over to his side, Boniface hewed timbers from the tree and erected a chapel to honor St Peter. This convinced the pagans that Boniface was the messenger of the true God, and many embraced the new faith."

From Exploring Evangelism (Pg. 102)

God grant us fresh boldness like this!

No comments: