A Cloud of Witnesses
The book of Hebrews in the New Testament spends an entire chapter describing the faith of the many generations whose stories are found in the Old Testament. In verse after verse in Hebrews 11, the author talks of the faith of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David, and so many others. At the beginning of the next chapter, it says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also set aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2a)
These verses were on my mind a few weeks ago as our congregation officially “broke ground” at our new property. During the ceremony I handed our golden shovel to Congregation President Dick Perkins and then he invited all of the children of the congregation to come forward to help him dig into the earth. It was a truly great moment. You can see it here:
My thoughts immediately fast-forwarded by about 20 to 30 years. I thought of these kids who would then be adults and how they could say they were present as we began something new for Faith Lutheran. They can look back at those of us who were adults on October 14, 2018 and then they could tell THEIR children about what we did in faith, and they will say “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” and they will tell their children about the love of Jesus Christ and how he has saved us from our sins and how we follow in his footsteps through faith.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, family of Faith, we are all running a race, a race of discipleship. It’s a relay race with each generation taking a lap. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses: those who have gone before us and how are now cheering us on. Someday we will be a part of the cloud, cheering on our children and grandchildren. Thanks be to God that they will be able to say: I was there when we ran a swift and sure lap in the race back in 2018.