Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side of God's throne. Hebrews 12:2 GNBDC
On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa (guide) Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest. A feat that took 16 days of perilous climbing to scale the 29,035 feet apex. As of January 2023, 6,336 people have successfully repeated the climb, some more than once, but Hillary and Norgay were the first.
Hebrews 12:1 talks about the "large crowd of witnesses." All those saints who have reached the summit and those climbing with us now. The climb is treacherous, and we depend on one another for support. We are roped together to cross icy patches and steep slopes. We can't make the journey alone.
Jesus Christ, though is the first successful climber, ascending not to a mountain summit (though he often did to pray) but to Heaven. He gladly sacrificed his life so we also can make the climb. By his example, we know what to do to succeed. Chief among the crowd of witnesses is Jesus, urging us on toward the summit.
As Hillary needed Norgay as an experienced climber and guide, we are gifted with the Holy Spirit to guide us over hazardous terrain. It leads us into safe paths with sure footing, and we remain tethered when we start to slip down a slope.
Father, thank you for your Son Jesus, who climbed before us. Through his joyful sacrifice, he made it possible for us to be successful. Thank you for our Sherpa, the Holy Spirit, that travels with us. We remember all those climbers who have gone before and pray for those currently on the climb. Grant us the wisdom to listen to our guide, the courage to face what is ahead, and the love and compassion to encourage each other. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.