Songs encourage us with inspiring lyrics. Among my favorite hymns as a young man were songs that pointed me “to a rock that that is higher than I” and that reminded me that God is our refuge and an ever present help in times of trouble. Recently I read Psalm 61. It contains these themes. The psalm also reminds that I do not pray alone. If I pray as one of God’s people, he has given me the “heritage of those who fear [his] name” (Psalm 61:5). Hebrews 12 speaks a similar message as it reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, heroes of faith who have served God before us. Their example gives us the boldness to stay focused on Christ when temptation arises or when trials multiply. We share a heritage with those heroes of faith. They feared God; they gave him the reverence he deserves. They remained faithful in times of testing, even when threatened with death. When we pray, or we sing, of God’s power to save, we remember those whom he has redeemed, and marvel that their number includes us. Yes, God has given us the heritage of those who fear his name. He is our Rock; he is our Refuge. May we live with such conviction that future generations will rejoice that they share our heritage, the heritage of the forgiven who seek to help others find the path we have found, the road to salvation.
Hear our cry, O God who calls us to mission. You have given us a heritage, a lineage of holy men and women whose example shows us how to persevere in the darkest times and how to excel in the brightest times. Help us to be worthy of that heritage. In Jesus’ name, Amen.