A Cloud of Witnesses
Blogging through the bible, one verse from every book.
by Janice MacLean
“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.” Hebrews 12:1
What do you need if you are a struggling Christian enduring hardship?
“The company of others,” decides the Writer of Hebrews in this teaching. The “therefore” connects back to the ones in the previous chapter who travelled faithfully in their day. Their essence remains and enfolds the one who journeys now.
They are examples, for sure, these heroes of the faith like Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam, David and Samual, the ones who “shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword” and those, too, who “wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”
If they endured then there is hope for others when life is difficult.
But what if they are more than just story figures from the past encouraging faith in this day? Honestly, I’m not sure how comforting it is to hear, “if they can do it, you can too!” What if there is more? What if the essence of their strength, their courage, their heartache remains and enfolds us as we face our own invitations and challenges on the human spiritual journey?
What if we live in a realm nested within realms? What if this cloud of ancestors are charged (in the way energy is charged) with helping us live on earth realm with purpose and meaning, doing our unique part in a larger arc of Love?
And to use even more spiritual imagination, what if we living on earth, could do our part to help the Cloud of Witnesses continue the work set before them in their time of human being? What if we all share together in the work of Love and every one of us, “in life, in death and in life beyond death,” are called to specific earth-tasks that aren’t time limited? We need their encouragement and support and they need our earthbound abilities.
We are in this together, because God so loves the world.