While serving under the Emperor Diocletian a violent persecution of Christians arose. Out of compassion for them, Alban gave refuge to a priest seeking shelter in his home. During his short stay with Alban that priest, whose name is known to God alone, shared the faith to Alban who converted to Christianity and was baptized. When officers came looking for the priest, Alban dressed in his clothes and turned himself over to them instead. After being arrested, he refused to renounce the Faith that he recently embraced and became the first Christian martyr in Britain.
As we reflect upon his witness this week, I am reminded once again of the high calling to bear the name Christian. It requires a wholehearted commitment to the Kingdom of God. And yet, in the West we often do not often face such life and death decisions as Alban did. However, that same level of decisiveness and single-heartedness that Alban displayed is inherent within our walk with Jesus. It is one that recognizes where our true allegiances lie, and orders our lives around them.
Discipleship grows us in the character of Jesus, by God’s grace each day. As we reflect upon the example of Alban, whose life stands as a testimony to such conversion of heart of life, may we renew our own commitment to Jesus. Renewing our call to seek and serve Him above all else. Doing so may seem like folly to the world, as surely it did to those who knew Alban. But, we know it to be the very means of life both in the here and now as well as for all eternity! May God strengthen our resolve and give us grace to follow in his steps and the many who faithfully proclaimed Jesus Christ in their day through word and deed.