This week’s Bible reading from Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2 remembers with respect and awe the heroes of scripture. In one short reading, the writer brings up the images and names of Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthat, David, Samuel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Elijah, Elisha, the Maccabees, Zechariah, Uriah and Eleazar. (Sure, some are familiar and others are more obscure, but I think the readers and hearers long ago remembered most.)
The text also encourages the reader not to simply remember and respect the heroes, but also to persevere and to trust in Jesus throughout the journey.
The list of faith heroes reminds me of people in my life who I consider faith heroes. Each is part of the “cloud of witnesses” that inspire me to continue to trust and to follow God in all things. (OK – that sounds a little sappy, but there’s nothing sappy about the influence these folks have had in my life.)
- My Mom – Told me – in simple terms, that Jesus loved me and wanted me to love Jesus.
- Mister Rogers – Reinforced the idea that everyone was worthy of love and that God loves everyone.
- My Dad – encouraged me to always do my best and to treat everyone I met with kindness.
- Emma Justes – Showed me the finest example I’ve ever seen of a person who lives and oozes compassion and kindness and joy.
- Mike Yaconelli – Reminded me that fun is not only OK – it’s wonderful. Also reminded me of God’s annoying love for imperfect (and messy) people.
- Marian Wright Edelman – An unflinching advocate for the rights of children – healthcare, education and love.
Who are your faith heroes and what have they meant to you? (Feel free to comment here or to join the conversation at i.ucc!)