It was a Wednesday afternoon, and while members of the Children's Choir and I sat on the steps of the Chancel, we were surrounded by different translations of Hebrews 12:1-3. The sheets of paper were laid out across the well-worn wood and multicolored bluestone.
We talked about some of the unusual words in the passage such as perseverance or perfector. We also considered the familiar images of a race: Jesus running ahead of us making a way, a crowd of onlookers cheering, understanding how hard the race could be. There was a thoughtful pause as we considered who was in the crowd or “cloud of witnesses” and what kind of burdens we can set aside.
There was an inquisitive sigh; then one student looked up toward the Resurrection window in the Sanctuary and said as both a question and a statement: “It says that Jesus already won, so we don’t have to worry about winning, just running." Another added, "It means we don’t have to beat anyone; instead we can help each other. We can be a witness for someone else.”
“We can be a witness for someone else.” The beauty of our faith is that it is not stagnant. It is not some secret held by people in the past. Faith is present, and it is active. Faith is running a race, not just for ourselves, but in running to show others the way.
This Sunday at 5:00 p.m. I invite you to our Evening Worship service in the Sanctuary. The service will be familiar: Just like Sunday morning, we will follow our traditional order of worship. We will sing hymns, be guided by Scripture, hear the Word proclaimed, and bow our heads in prayer. You might hear a few new voices and notice that some of our ushers are a little bit shorter.
The Children’s Choir and Youth Chorale will lead our music, but we need your voices to help our hymns and liturgy come alive! Together we will worship, just as the generations have before us: glorifying God, practicing our faith, learning from one another, and being strengthened by the Spirit. There is a long race ahead, and we need one another to make a way.
So, grab your running shoes and meet us in the Sanctuary! With the saints of every age, we run the race that Jesus has set before us. May we indeed be witnesses to one another along the way.