Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day #1198

April 12, 2017

When I read this from Kathryn Schifferdecker, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in the daily devotion, God Pause, about Hebrews 12:1-3, it spoke strongly to me as we prepare for Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday. Kathryn writes:
I have never been much of an athlete, but I have always loved the imagery of this passage: a track and field stadium, an Olympic-size stadium, the stands all around the track filled to overflowing with the "great cloud of witnesses." And in that great cloud of witnesses are those saints we have loved--for me, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Herbert and Aunt Viola, Dad--along with the people of faith listed in the previous chapter--Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Rahab and countless others who through the centuries have lived by faith. 
And we? We are the ones running the race, cheered on by those in the stands, those we have loved and those we have never met. Sometimes we run through tears, sometimes we only manage to walk, but we persevere, looking to Jesus, "who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." 
As you run the race this Holy Week, follow the example of Jesus. Keep on keeping on. And know that you are surrounded by the communion of saints, the great cloud of witnesses, who are cheering you on. 
The saints I think about are: Grandma, Mom, Granny, Mike, Nellie Ruth, Jack, Bo, Nina, and all those I have loved and served with that I trust are at rest with Jesus. Their memories are close by me as I go through life and I often hear their voices in my head. How eternally thankful I am for their witness, encouragement, and love! And I cannot also forget the saints that are still with me. That list is too long to name, but I am grateful for each one!

And what a gift to join with them all, past, present and future, around the table of the Lord. Yes, they are there - each and every one.


No comments:

Post a Comment