I’m looking forward to Ron teaching again this Sunday. Probably the pulpit has missed him too. We were working our way through Hebrews when the pandemic hit. Ron prepared for March 15, 2019- the church service that never happened- the naming of the heroes.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)
So many passed on during the pandemic, having died in faith, believing the promise. We grieve with those who lost loved ones. We celebrate Lorna and Donna. Jewish tradition acknowledges that the first year is the hardest, when we most need comfort, before we can resume communal life.
Today’s scriptures tell of challenges to leadership. Miriam and Aaron criticizing Moses for marrying an outsider. The Pharisees criticizing Jesus’ disciples for uncleanliness. More than concern about contamination, these challengers claim authority. They understand God’s laws; people should follow their instructions.
Neither Moses nor the disciples defend themselves. Jesus confronts the Pharisees with their own law-breaking. God calls the meeting to correct Miriam and Aaron.
“When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Numbers 12:6b-8a (NIV)
I appreciate how God speaks through particular leaders. Humble, like Moses, whose relationship with the Lord is something special. Who tell us of God’s character, and what really matters. Not the foods we eat or the people we marry, but our heart’s relationship to God and others.
Ron is one of those faithful servants, to whom we still look for wisdom. Today we are reminded to treasure those leaders, and listen to true authority. Not those who seek power through criticizing others. But those whose relationship with Jesus goes beyond rules, and whose words come from a heart set on God.
Someday, I hope to hear Ron teach on Hebrews 11, those heroes of faith who’ve gone before. For now, I look forward to listening again to the authority of a father in the faith who has set his eyes on Jesus. -Renée
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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2a (NIV)