Every Fall my immediate family gets together for a few days of retreat at a cabin. At the conclusion of our time we have a little worship service together that ends with participating in the Lord’s Supper.
One time Dad started by talking about the generations of Wakefields who have followed Christ. He held up pictures and read from a Bible owned by my great grandmother. I felt a great sense of pride and belonging as we sat around the table and listened to my Dad talk about how generations of Christians before me remained faithful, sometimes at great personal cost.
With my arm around my daughter, and my son sitting on my wife’s lap, we heard my dad talk about his dad’s faithfulness… How for years he was faithful in church leadership; how he helped plant a church in Southern IL; how he was generous in helping those who needed help, even if money was scarce; and how he stood for what was right, once telling the church leaders that if they wouldn’t let him bus in both black and white kids to Sunday School, they could find another bus driver.
And then he read, from that old Bible, these words from Hebrews chapter 12, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”
Our faithfulness to Christ, recognized as the true founder of our faith, is begun, in part, by remembering the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before. And we are encouraged to keep from sin and remain faithful, like those who have gone before, based on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
What better place to talk about keeping from sin and remembering the faithfulness of generations before us than the Lord’s Table? You see, we are here, today, as a family… remembering how the commitment and sacrifice of people before us have laid a foundation of faith so that we would meet, today, in this place, and enjoy a celebration of Christ where we acknowledge Him as the sure foundation.
May we stand on the shoulders of our forebears… acknowledging today, around the Table, that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is reason to remain faithful, no matter the cost to us. For Jesus’ death on the cross was too costly a price to pay for us to be anything less than faithful.