Sunshine and Shadow
“Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin…”
Monday gets a bad rap. How many memes, jokes, and whatnots picture a sad-looking animal dragging their tired body into work, melodramatically declaring to the world, It’s Monday…
I don’t know if that speaks more about Monday or if it says something about Saturday and Sunday. And if the work week started on Tuesday we would be giving Tuesday grief. And that says a lot about us as people.
As we were driving to Sunday worship yesterday I was thankful for our modern life. We spent most of our morning dressing and getting ready for our journey. After which, we put a few things including ourselves loaded up into the warm van, and travel the twenty miles to the church house.
When we arrive the church building is warm, the restrooms are working and we proceed into the warm auditorium.
Our congregation is at present small. It waxes and wanes depending on season and weather, and other variables, but…
I wonder, in comparison to the Laura Ingles Wilder times what that generation would think of us in our comfortable lifestyle. If we went back a hundred years to nineteen twenty-one our life would look quite different but the change to the Little House time period would be even more stark.
Even in my lifetime, our current building has gone through a number of changes. There have been times when we have arrived at a building that had no heat, or times when the water wasn’t working. Thankfully, I don’t remember ever not having electricity.
When I was first acquainted with the congregation fifty-four years ago the pews were benches from an old railroad stop—No padding, but they did have backs. I was baptized in November of the year and there was no heated baptistery. It wasn’t quite like ‘going down to the river to pray’ but it was purty close to it only we did have walls.
Now we even have not just central heat, but we also have central air conditioning. Many things have changed in our fifty years. Some good, some things are just changes. We’ve lost some dear friends through death or moving away, but I’m reminded of the scriptures in Hebrews where it says:
“Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”
I sometimes picture our small congregation with an invisible cloud of witnesses. There would be the four widows that were the only ones left at one point, yet instead of folding and closing the congregation up, they continued with the help of the Hickman congregation from forty miles (at least) away.
After a doorknocking campaign in the area, there was a slow renewal, with a few people being added year by year. Some of our gone on before, or moved away witnesses would be Belle, Helen, and Joyce, Philip and Muriel, Larry, the Messersmits, Orrin and Marge, Sam and Ruth…and so many more…the cloud of witnesses—and that’s only part of the known cloud.
Since Old Fuzzy and I sit toward the front of the auditorium I envision another cloud of witnesses—the heavenly host of angels present sitting in the pews behind us.
“Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2) Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4) There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5) God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”