Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Thursday, October 30

Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
—Hebrews 4:14-16

For many of us, our faith was kindled by somebody.  Perhaps it was a parent who made sure we said our prayers after we were tucked into bed at night. Perhaps it was a youth leader whose name we no longer remember, but who left a lasting impact. Perhaps it was a friend whose compassion for others was a quiet witness to a life of faith in action. Somebody helped bring the message home, and somebody blessed our spiritual walk.

For me it was my uncle. He was a pastor who had a gift of laughter and a penchant for telling stories with a flair and humor that often brought us to tears. It was clear to me that he loved life, and he loved caring for people. 

One night, as we visited his home, the phone rang in the midst of dinner. He told the caller that he would be "right there," and said to us he would return when he could, but there was a fire and he was needed. Beneath the laughter, his sense of purpose, and his capacity to serve in the midst of an emergency touched me deeply. It would be a good way to live life, I thought. Fifteen or so years later I enrolled in seminary.

When he died, my cousin sent me a copy of his last sermon. Its threefold-theme was completely centered on Jesus: He is our priest; trust him. He is our prophet; heed him. He is our king; obey him. I have realized there are times I must deepen my trust; pay more attention to his teaching; and surrender more often. 

We learn from the wisdom and example of our teachers. Knowing who they are helps us understand our own journey as we seek to reorder our lives, heal a broken world, and yield to our higher calling. 

When we wonder what a life of faith is really about, we look to these mentors. In following their lead, we join all those who walk with Jesus. For He is the teacher's teacher, the high priest who gives us all mercy and grace in time of need.

Thank you God, for speaking to us as priest, prophet and king and for showing us all three in the life of the one known as Jesus in whom we hope, trust, and pray. Amen.