The aid workers who were killed in Afghanistan last week have been much in my mind, as they have perhaps also been in yours. I grieve for the senselessness of this loss, for what it will mean for their families, friends and those they would and could have helped.
Although those working for IAD have specifically denied being missionaries, it seems clear that their faith strengthened them for their work. Does their sacrifice cause for you, as it does for me, a challenge as well as a grief? Do their actions cause you to ask yourself and/or your congregation what risks have been taken lately in the name of Christ?
If so, you might find the Hebrews text this week, with its cloud of witnesses and all their sacrifices fits the bill. If you choose this text, how do you preach to congregations of folks who will likely not find themselves in the desperate straits described?
If your heart is not turned toward sacrifice, you might move in another direction. In both the Hebrews and the Gospel (goodness, are you tackling the Gospel this week?) there is much food for thought about the interaction between the past, the present and the future. So maybe a sermon on the relations of the generations of the faithful is the direction you are heading.
Or, you might be singing love-songs and tramping around in the vineyards with Isaiah. Wherever you are headed this week, we’d love to hear about it the comments. Pull up a chair at the table!