God we are grateful for “the cloud of witnesses”
Those saints who have gone before us.
The saints still with us.
Who told us the old, old story.
But, more than that – who showed us how to live out the good news.
We give you thanks for their faithfulness
For their doggedness
For their willingness to keep on, never giving up when we were slow on the uptake or when we were just being cussed and difficult, rejecting the good we knew to be true.
God we thank you for those who sat with us, who cried with us and laughed with us, who stuck with us through it all.
We thank you for those who lost sleep over us when we pushed our luck one time too many and yet hung on to us.
Because they knew the depth of your love in their life, they introduced us to that love and saw the kindling take hold and they persisted in fanning the flame.
Because they saw in us that thirst for something more, that quest for wholeness that would not be filled except in you.
We thank you for those who sat by us while we tried out our immature version of faith, while we articulated the earliest forms of our knowledge of your love, those who encouraged to keep on putting into words, the good news made flesh.
And now it is our turn.
To pass it on.
With the same patience and tenacity, with the same fierceness and intensity.
To pass on the good news of faith by living with love that never gives up, that never loses hope, that sees faith take hold and burst into life.
For every generation.
1 And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm.