12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
And now the end is in sight. Four days more, including this one.
Nouwen notes that fear and hostility don’t only come when we meet the unfamiliar, the violent, the abnormal. They come when we meet rivals – those with whom we might otherwise have a lot in common – colleagues and classmates. And that’s it. No suggestion as to what we might do about this. No magic bullet.
As normal then I turned to the Bible quote in hope of illumination. A call to set aside sin and persevere, in the knowledge that we are following in our endurance in the path of Jesus. I suppose in this situation I’d fall back on the reading from Day 16. And perhaps Day 18. Hmmm….
Some music to end with which perhaps sums it up better than I can in my own words. Not choral this time, either. “Peace, perfect peace” – but not the well known hymn – rather a cover of a song by Toots & The Maytals (no, me neither). Go read the lyrics here – they’ll do as a prayer for today.