Great Cloud of Witnesses
Dear Cathedral Family,
In the Gibson household this week, we are preparing for our youngest’s move to college (as the Zublers did for their eldest last week!). It is a time of great excitement, mixed with some anxiety (for everyone), as we imagine the potential and the promise that lie ahead.
Amid the excitement of new beginnings—in the school year’s transitions from one grade to the next, from one school to the next, from high school to college, from school to work; and in the church year’s transitions to new plans and programs—there can also be moments of fear and anxiety. Change and growth are both stimulating and challenging, sometimes even painful and costly as callings are followed and fulfilled.
The Letter to the Hebrews offers us a thrilling—and frightening—picture of living by faith. This Sunday we will hear the experiences of the great cloud of witnesses to the faith, those who did difficult and uncomfortable things and for whom faith was far from “smooth sailing.” They are presented as our encouragers in living the life of faith that lies before us, to “run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Jesus, of course, is the perfecter of this life of faith, and from his endurance—and his joy—we can draw strength and encouragement.
The life of Christian faith is an adventure story, and we each have our own path to follow. We also have each other, and all the “great cloud of witnesses” who have come before us, to help and encourage us along the way. We always have the chance to choose faith over fear.