January 10, 2010
READ: Hebrews 11:32-40
We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. —Hebrews 12:1
Along the old Oregon Trail in Idaho there is a marker—a giant lava boulder known locally as Register Rock. It’s located in an area which was one of the favorite overnight camping areas for westbound immigrants who traveled the trail in the 19th century.
Travelers often inscribed their names on the rock as a memorial to their passage. Register Rock stands as a monument to their courage and tenacity.
When I think of Register Rock, I think of other pilgrims who have passed by us on their journey. Hebrews 11 lists some of those hardy souls—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel, to name a few.
But there are other more recent pilgrims: my mother and father, my fifth-grade Sunday school teacher Mrs. Lincoln, my youth leader John Richards, my mentors Ray Stedman and Howard Hendricks, and a host of others I could name. They may not have inscribed their names on rocks, but they’re written in my memory.
The author of Hebrews reminds us to remember “pilgrims” who have gone before us, especially those “who have spoken the Word of God” to us and to consider “the outcome of their conduct” (Heb. 13:7). And, most important, he encourages us to follow their faith. — David H. Roper
The paths of leadership are trod
By those who fix their eyes on God;
Their steadfast spirit points the way
For us to follow day by day. —D. De Haan
People who follow Christ lead others in the right direction.