Today we will be thinking about the “great cloud of witnesses” who surround us, faithful men and women of God who have gone to sleep in the Lord. Especially, in the service in church, we will give thanks for those who have died over the last 18 months. But let’s begin as always by singing God’s praises:
Our reading today is from Hebrews 11:39. Just before this the writer has been listing some of the great men of faith from the Old Testament, explaining how they persevered with God, and God persevered with them, to the end of their lives. He then continues:
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not
receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better
for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
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, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Talk by Glyn – “A great cloud of witnesses”
Our closing song is a translation of a much (much!) longer hymn by Bernard of Cluny (born 1100).
Let’s close by saying the grace for each other: