A great cloud of (imperfect) witnesses

By Dave Henning / December 5, 2013

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” -Hebrews 12: 1-2

In Chapter 2 of Healing Your Church Hurt, Stephen Mansfield summarizes the lesson we can learn from great men and women of God who have gone before us:

“Great men and women of God are not exempt from hurt and offense.  Instead, enduring the wounds of fellow Christians with mercy and grace seems to be the call of every true saint, and we should not expect it to be any different in our own lives.”

One of those great people of God was Jonathan Edwards, a leading theologian and pastor of the Colonial Era.  At one point in his storied career, he was ousted as pastor of Northampton Church because he wouldn’t allow the unconverted to take Communion.  He expressed his pain to a friend:

“I have now nothing to depend on for my future usefulness or the subsistence of my numerous family.  But I hope we have an all-sufficient, faithful, covenant God, to depend upon.”

Later Jonathan Edwards became president of Princeton University.

Mr. Mansfield concludes with a comment on the significance of our calling:

“He confirmation of history is that we are not called despite our wounding and betrayal; we are wounded and betrayed because we are called.”

Today’s question: What is your response to Stephen’s comment on the significance of your calling?

Tomorrow’s blog: “Darkness pressing at the edge of light”

About the author

Dave Henning

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