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 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
This passage comes an exhaustive sharing of people who lived in courageous and bold faith. Women and men – some named and many not – who followed in the path that the Lord led them. It is only after this chapter where faith is mentioned at least 25 times that we get to this passage about the cloud of witnesses. This cloud of witnesses are our sisters and brothers who have laid the foundation for us to move forward in the work of the Triune God into the streets. It is not easy, but it never has been. Wider culture has never been fully accepting of the Gospel, disciples are always called to look to the needs of others before ourselves, there is always risk and challenge, but there is always the cloud of witnesses who has done this before us.
So, we need to go out with all the risks and challenges ahead but the call to run with perseverance with our eyes set on Jesus, the one who ultimately walked this path not only before us but FOR us.
Time to get walking, running, pushing, living, proclaiming, serving, witnessing, loving.