“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, . . .” (Hebrews 12:1a)
We are at Wednesday, mid-week of Holy Week. I think back through our journey through Lent and all the scripture passages we have read. We have heard from the voices of the distant past in the Old Testament passages, the voices of lament and praise in the Psalms passages, the lessons of living in the Epistle Passage, and the stories of Jesus in the Gospel passages. As the writer of Hebrews says, so many witnesses and examples to follow.
“. . . and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, . . “ (Verses 1b-2a)
The hardest days though are the days to come. Yes, we have heard this story before, journey through this time of year before; and yes, we know what is to come. I am not suggesting that we approach it as if it is “brand new.” We bring with us our past; our past year with its past sins, past mistakes, past fears, and – praise be to God – our past joys. We approach these final days of Lent with all that we bring. And for this reason, it may be a new experience.
“ . . . 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.” (Verse 2b)
Jesus the Messiah did not die all over again in 2015. But we remember what our Lord did that meant that for all time to come our redemption and salvation has been secured. Jesus did not walk the earth in 2015. But the stories and lessons of his life are told and relearned. This lectionary year the theme is renewal and recommitment. If not before this time, let us renew our faith and recommit ourselves to Jesus Christ and the God that sent him.
During the season of Lent, if not already, is the time to confess our sins and our failings. Maybe, beloved reader, you have already done that – have already made your heart contrite. Jesus our Messiah has scoped our sins and past failings, and will pay the price for them instead of us. Or maybe that is not your faith perspective. It is not for may to say what is a correct approach to this time of the year and this event in Christ’s life. But what I can say, and what I do hope and pray for you, beloved reader, is that have not grown weary or lost heart; and that you will be evermore renewed and refreshed through our Lord God. Selah!