“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . . “-Hebrews 12:2
Somewhere in the Henning pictorial archives there exists a photo of me at the age of 6 or 7, standing in our living room costumed as my favorite defender of truth, justice and the American way- Superman (not to be outdone by the diminutive, rodential Mighty Mouse!). While Superman and Mighty Mouse came “to save the day”, on All Saint’s Day it is appropriate and beneficial to remember those saints- living or in glory- in our lives who were instrumental in shaping our saving faith.
Among those saints to whom I am indebted: my parents, Bill and Elinor Henning, whose life-long faith in Jesus was evidenced in their commitment to spiritual growth and Christian education; my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Bernie Lutz, who modeled compassion to a tearful 9 year old “far” from home; my piano/organ teacher, John O’Brien, who taught me the art of worshipful accompaniment.
As we journey through our transitional, desert Land Between time, we need to be intentional in celebrating God’s blessings in our lives, enabling the Holy Spirit to transform us as we prepare for revitalized ministry. The faith modeled and instilled in us by those pivotal saints through the Holy Spirit’s power has sustained us in the past, fixes our eyes on Jesus in the present and gives us a firm foundation as we heal and refocus our ministry.
“When through fiery trials your pathway will lie
My grace, all sufficient, will be your supply.
The flames will not hurt you, I only design,
Your dross to consume and your gold to refine.”
-How Firm a Foundation”, v. 4