“Fix Your Eyes On Jesus…!”(Heb.12:1-3).
“O Cameroon, thou cradle of our fathers, holy shrines where in our midst they now repose..” is a strong remembrance of the ancestors. The fathers here mentioned are the ancestors of that land mapped out as the cradle of their holy shrines.
Ancestors must not necessarily be consanguineous. The founders of a village are ancestors of all the sons and daughters of that village – irrespective of blood ties. That’s the sense in which “cradle of our fathers holy shrines” should be understood.
The letter to the Hebrews has that strong sense of ancestorship. The christisn family receives strength from the fathers and mothers of the faith, beginning from Abel, through Abraham to those who constituted the exodus to the promised land (Heb.11:1-38); not leaving out the pioneer disciples of Jesus.
These biblical ancestors, just like African ancestors are the backbone of the present faith family. Their past has become our present! They must ensure the best for us, because, altnough “they were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect”(Heb.11:39-40).
So to say, the perfection of our faith is assured cross-generationally. If only together with us would they be made perfect, it means only together with the next generation would we be made perfect.
Therefore, if “we are surrounded by such great cloud of witnesses”(ancestors), we should move on in the faith in confidence. These heroes of the past – our ancestors – are watching our backs!
One criteria to qualify as ancestor is that the person must have been virtuosly exemplary within the community as far as human judgment is concerned. To be made perfect in the faith, we too should follow on their footsteps of the heroes of the faith. Therefore, “let us throw everything that hinders and the sin that easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance that race marked out for us.Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”
Yes, those ancestors of the faith fixed their eyes on Jesus. Even when they sinned, they turned to the Lord in penitence.
The journey of faith is rough, rocky, treacherous and sometimes seemingly inaccessible. But beyond and across is the land that is brighter than day. By faith we can see it afar.
When it gets rough we should remember the opposition our Lord faced from sinful men. He endured the cross and scorned its shame. When we think of what he endured, we should be thus encouraged and “we will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Bottomline: 1. Be assured that the ancestors of faith are watching your backs. 2. Run the race of faith with perseverance. 3. Keep aside every weight and sin which clings so closely. 4. Do not grow weary and lose heart. 5. Above all,Fix your eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of your faith.
Weekend prayer: Lord Jesus Christ I fix my eyes on you alone. Lead me on in this race of faith; let me not grow weary and lose heart. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.