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, looking to Jesus as the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of 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. - Hebrews 12:1-2
The Spirit's coming united the early Christians at the deepest level, in a living experience of God's presence and power. They were transformed from a loose collection of individuals into a new creation, a vibrant community that was of one heart and one mind. Jesus sent the Spirit of Truth, just as he promised, and this Spirit-filled human community became his continuing presence in the world, the Body of Christ.
I cannot do that. As a Quaker, I believe that when Jesus Christ disarmed his disciples in Gethsemane, he disarmed the Church. I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he set an example for those who would follow him - taking on suffering rather than inflicting it, blessing those who curse us. As a follower of the Crucified Savior, I must remember the martyrs - those who sacrificed their own lives, possesssions and comfort in order to demonstrate God's love to a world in pain. This Memorial Day, I will remember the faithful servants who have gone before, joining Jesus in blazing the trail that I now walk.
I will remember the way that so many have laid down their own privilege and comfort to serve the poor and the lost. And I will remember how I was one of those lost ones. I will give thanks for the grace these servants of God showed, loving me in spite of all the ways I pushed them away.
a mother in the gospel. She introduced me to the writings of Thomas Kelly and taught me Algebra, even though I was probably the most frustrating student she ever had. She loved me when I did not deserve it. She believed in me when there was no good reason to do so. She was Jesus to me.
Who are the witnesses that call you forward?