For these Christians, church is not a social function. Church is a risk to life and livelihood. For the preacher, he risks not just his own life but he also endangers those who come to listen. For this preacher, every sermon must be worth prison, every sermon must be worth provoking the wrath of this world. He must ask himself every time, "Is this worth my life? Is this worth my congregation's life?"
Why should our sermons be any different? I fear no angry mob, does it mean my sermons can be cheap? I fear no persecution, so does that mean I can spend my time giving anecdotes instead of the word of God? Just being called to be heralds of the king should sober and embolden us on its own. But recognizing the price our brothers and sisters pay for the word of God spurs us on. Let us cherish the proclamation we make.
Lord help us. Help us so that we, in addition to honoring our savior, would also honor the sacrifices and risks our brothers and sisters must make every time they choose eternal blessing over the crucible of this world.