Read Hebrews 12:1-3

from David Chafin, Deputy Regional Minister

Sometimes I get tired – tired of not knowing what’s next, tired of knowing too well what’s next, tired of tedious projects, tired of keeping up appearances, even tired of the race that is my life. Yet the encouraging words of the writer here point me toward that “great cloud of witnesses,” the un-numbered multitudes who have gone before me, and the advice to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of [my] faith…” with his enduring example of perseverance.

But the vision of that throng of our ancestors in faith, the saints now at rest, is offered up to us by the author after having noted at the end of a litany some of their names that “they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.” (11:40)

Wow! The weariness I may be complaining of needs to be corrected, not only with an eye toward the persevering Christ who endured it all for us, but also with this image tucked within our hearts: The whole People of God – those saints that we may at best take note of once a year – are incomplete, imperfect, unfinished without me, without you, together joining in the race. In fact, it could well be that “the sin that clings so closely” is simply our focus on our own self-interests, the hurdles we that annoy us in the race.

May our impatience, exhaustion, and exasperation be put into a new perspective – the scene of All Saints who, without our taking our places in the race, are incomplete – and may their faithful examples move us to go on.

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,

fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,

and win with them the victor’s crown of gold…