Maybe it has something to do with events in our country of late … the horrific shooting and killing of church family members during worship last Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Or the mass shooting in Las Vegas a month ago. Or the terrorist attack on pedestrians as a pickup is driven into their midst in New York City.
Maybe it’s because our own worship gathering last Sunday set aside time for us to remember, with lighted candles and prayers, those members of our church family who had passed from this life into the next life. Joining that great cloud of witnesses.
I’ve found myself thinking more this week about the past than about the present. In particular, I’ve been thinking about people who have been witnesses to my own faith. Sunday School and Bible school teachers. Bible study partners. Prayer partners. Youth group leaders. Pastors. Seminary professors and colleagues. As you might expect.
These I know by name. I remember their faces. Sometimes even particular words spoken. We have history together.
But there are others as well. People I do not know by name. Sometimes I don’t even recall enough physical features to be able to describe them to you. But I remember vividly our encounter. And their words. When God saw to it that our paths would cross. At a particular time. In a particular place. For a particular reason.
In the process, I’ve been thinking less about the scriptures for this week. But as I attempt to do so again today, I find that, interestingly, they are connected with what we’ve been pondering here. Being a witness by serving God. Putting our hope in God. Encouraging one another. Preparing to meet the Lord.
Gracious God, thank you for sending ordinary people into our lives. To be people of faith to one another. To remind ourselves and each other of the hope that we have in you. To encourage each other as we grow in faith. Amen. Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat