Devotional — Let’s thank God for witnesses

Published 2:01 pm Thursday, November 10, 2022

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, (NRS) — NRS Hebrews 12:1

When we hear the word witnesses, we think of crime shows and courtroom dramas. Perhaps that is because we have a steady diet of “Law and Order” and other shows centered on the working of our legal system. Witnesses do play a very important part of our system of law.

However, when the Bible speaks of witnesses, it is most often speaking of those who have provided a real life image of how to be a person of God; one who follows God’s commands and lives them in their daily lives. These people proclaim what they believe in living their lives. It is as if they sit in the “witness chair” in a court each moment of their lives, testifying to who God is and what it means to be a person of God.

When I read “witnesses” in the Bible, I always think of Mrs. Blanton. In a small town in a tiny church, she taught third grade Sunday School for more than 40 years. I never heard her raise her voice and she was just someone who loved very impressionable children who often had lots of excess energy and very short spans of attention.

While she never had any biological children, she became one of the greatest witnesses of God’s love and compassion to hundreds of children who grew up remembering a quiet, kind person who talked to God regularly. She witnessed to me and many, many others.

On November 1, Christians around the world celebrated All Saints Day. It is a “lesser” Holy Day for many denominations, and totally ignored by others. It is only occasionally celebrated on a Sunday, so it is often overlooked.

However, I wonder what calling can be more important than witnessing the way Mrs. Blanton did? She was a true saint of God and changed the lives of others. She showed hundreds of children what it was to live life as a Christian. How much better would our lives be if we would just set aside a little time to remember and thank God for all those who have witnessed for us? Perhaps we might be better witnesses too.

Keith Leach is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at kleach@hsc.edu..