Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Hebrews 11:32-40 (NRSV)
And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.
The long list of witnesses in Hebrews reminds me of my great spiritual heritage. Being a Cumberland Presbyterian, I am grateful to God for the connections I have to the founding fathers and mothers of our denomination. We are a people birthed from years of prayer and spiritual revival. These men and women heard and harkened to the voice of God that urged them to move into the western frontier to preach, minister, and bear witness to the good news of the kingdom of God. They knew that the task ahead of them would be tough; it entailed making sacrifices and being committed to the call of God.
The work that began more than 200 hundred years ago continues. From the home of the Rev. Samuel McAdow, the Cumberland Presbyterian church has grown spiritually and numerically, now having a global presence in Europe, Asia, South and North America, and Africa. We journey on as we, individually and collectively, continue the good work started by our faith ancestors and as we celebrate them as part of the great crowd of witnesses to the Christian faith.
Creator God, you called your church into being. Be with all whom you have called and charged to minister to your people. Amen.
Go with God.