“Mercy Not Sacrifice”
Covenant Baptist Church
March 22, 2015
Kyndall Rae Rothaus
(To listen to the audio, click “play” button above. To download audio, click here.)
In the novel, Silence, a priest from Portugal travels to Japan as a missionary during a time of great persecution of Christians in that country. Throughout the novel, Christians all over the country face torture and even death, and all throughout the novel, Christ is silent. God is silent. A few Christians lose their courage and apostatize. Many of them stay resolute and do not recant their faith. All the while, God says nothing to the priest. There seems to be no comfort, no deliverance, but the priest remains faithful.
At the end of the novel, the priest himself has been captured. He is told he must apostatize, not only to spare his own life, but to spare the lives of three other Christians—peasants who have already recanted their faith, but are still being tortured while the priest decides whether to recant and thereby spare their lives or refuse to recant and watch them die. All through the night, he can hear their moans as they hang over a pit, blood slowly dripping from the slit behind their ears where they have been cut. It is a gruesome scene. Read more →