Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Dog Days Duets series. I pray that these weekly selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.
Hebrews 12:1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Example of Jesus
12 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,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,[c] so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Notice that today’s passage of scripture from the letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament begins with the words “Since, then…” or “Therefore,…” depending on the translation. Either way, it tells us that something has gone before and what the author is about to say is dependent on that. What goes before? It is the writer’s list of great people of faith who have gone before. He begins by saying, “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” Then, he begins to list people who have gone before, who lived by faith and talks about the role of faith in each life:
Then, when he gets to verse 32, he says, “What more can I say? I would run out of time if I told you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.”
These make up part of what the writer of Hebrews calls “the Great Cloud of Witnesses.” I love that description: “A Great Cloud Of Witnesses.” This Great Cloud of Witnesses is filled with people of faith who have influenced our lives and our faith and have made our world a better place because they were in it. Who do you include in your own Great Cloud of Witnesses?
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster