Today’s lectionary readings include these famous verses from Hebrews 12:1-3:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
The “Cloud of Witnesses” mural below was painted in 2012 by Jon McDonald, an artist at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. It features a small number of people who were murdered for their role as workers in mid-century Civil Rights Movement. (Keep scrolling to view more detailed images.)
Reflect on their lives, and offer prayers of thanksgiving for their witness and sacrifice.
Names of those pictured (the links will take you to their stories at the Jim Crow Museum of Ferris State University): Johnnie Mae Chappell, Michael Henry Schwerner, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Rev. James Reeb, Delano Herman Middleton, Samuel Ephesians Hammond Jr., Henry Ezekial Smith, Viola Gregg Liuzzo, Medger Evers, Ben Chester White, Denise McNair, Adie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.