This being the first Sunday of the month we will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion.
The Scripture reading this week is Hebrews 11:32-12:2
The Sermon title is The Great Cloud of Witnesses
Early Thoughts: The day after we dress up and send children door to door seeking candy comes All Saints Day (or, if you prefer, All Hallows Day, the day after All Hallows Eve). In some places this day is a day of great celebration, for example in Mexico they celebrate the Day of the Dead in a variety of ways.
In the Epistle to the Hebrew we have this wonderful phrase: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let
us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and
let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. We did not come from nowhere. We are not alone. There were those who have gone before us, those who started the exploration of how God was active in the world, those who passed on their knowledge and experiences and beliefs. They laid a foundation on which we stand. And if we believe in that death is not the end then they are with us still in some way.
OK, I admit, that last sentence sounds like the beginning of a ghost story....
But what does it mean to think of a world, of a faith where we not only inherit things from those who have gone before but are surrounded and supported by them?
Who fills out our cloud of witnesses?
Who do we rely on in our heritage? Where do we feel their support?
We have our own race to run. It is not the same race run by those who have gone before them. But it is also not a totally dis-continuous race. There is a link, somewhere, somehow.