Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses . . .
Sandie remembers her dad reading from a monthly devotional guide every day while she was growing up. When she had children, her dad would sit her kids on his lap and read to them also from that devotional series. They have pictures of her kids with their grandpa reading those devotions. Now that she lives far away from her parents, she appreciates knowing that her dad is still reading from the same ongoing devotional series every day.
It’s not just the devotional series, though. Sandie takes comfort in the strong faith in God that connects her with her family members far away. She felt the same way when her daughter left for college a few years ago. Friends and family told her daughter they were praying for her, and she felt and missed the community connections she had developed over the years. In both situations, community was strengthened by a faith connection that crossed time and distance.
The writer of Hebrews spends a whole chapter (Hebrews 11) talking about people from the past who lived by faith. And that provides encouragement to believers to keep living faithfully for Jesus each day.
Christian community is so much bigger than the people who are geographically close to us. It is also about believers across the country and the world, and from earlier generations. The cloud of witnesses connects us together in one, great community!
Father, thank you for surrounding us with faithful witnesses around the world and throughout the centuries. Amen.
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