Hebrews 11:13a (NRSV)
13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.
The ancestors of the faith lived and died standing on the promises. Promises they would never see or get to benefit from themselves. Having listed these profiles in faith the writer of Hebrews writes something fascinating," from a distance they saw and greeted them." They lived their lives so invested in God's word that they knew their sacrifices, pain, and struggle would someday payoff generations after they were gone.
Our ancestors have the same profile in faith. They believed God would eventually liberate us and allow us to partake in freedoms and prosperity they would never see. We exist today as answered prayers. We are manifestations of the faith of our ancestors.
While it is true that we as African Americans still face many obstacles, injustices, and inequities, it is even more true that we ought to be as faithful as our ancestors. We too need to contribute to our future descendants as our predecessors contributed to us. We too need to look from a distance, see, and greet them.
Lord give us the vision and path to see and believe from a distance. Make us invest our passion and energy in your promises. Make us unshakeable in our resilience and patience. Lord we thank you for fulfilling promises made to our ancestors in our lifetime. Please do what you did for them, for us. In Jesus Name.
Questions for Meditation
What kind a world were my grandparents living in? What kind of prayers do I imagine they were praying?
How am I benefitting from the sacrifices of generations past?
Now pray in your own words that God would give you the ability to see from a distance.