Footprints daily reflection: 17 April

A cloud of witnesses.

Author: Rev Dr Colin McClure

Journey through Lent with daily Footprints, Christian Aid Ireland's reflections

Bible reading

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Hebrews 12:1


Having recently become a grandfather I need little excuse to fondly talk about my two grandchildren – an almost 3-year-old and his one-year-old sister. Why do people not then say that I look too young to be a grandfather? Perhaps they see more of the changes in me than I recognise!

As my grandchildren live “across the water” I love receiving regular emailed photographs and “meeting” on Skype. Better still is when they come to us or we travel to them. Each time, even though it might only be a month or so between such visits, I immediately notice the changes that have occurred; they have grown and developed new skills – for better or for worse!

Noticing the changes in my grandchildren is part of the fun of being with them. However, it has also awakened in me a new awareness of my daunting responsibility to secure the present and nurture the future for my grandchildren’s generation. And how can I partner with people like Lope and Eva on Tabugon island and the relentless climate-related devastation and illegal fishing conspiring to threaten their livelihoods and the very existence of their children and grandchildren?

Lope, Eva, me - what can people like us do in the face of such complex and overwhelming challenges throughout the world?

In the Hebrews 12 sports stadium picture those who have been active before us (“so great a cloud of witnesses”) and the very Jesus who sacrificed and triumphed, incite us and inspire us “on the pitch” to keep focused and keep going - to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

In Jesus Christ our ever-changing world is not random but ruled, and He has a purpose for people like Lope, Eva, and us as we strive together.


Inspiring God,

through Your sacrifice we can know full life and purpose in our days.

Clear our vision, lift our hearts,

so that as we seek to focus on Jesus we too can follow in that love without measure,

that love freely offered, that life-transforming love.

In our speaking, acting, giving and living for justice and love,

guide us to live love’s truth and thereby help secure the present and nurture the future.



As well as being a grandfather Colin is, among other things, a husband, father, son and brother, minister of First Larne Presbyterian Church, Clerk of the Carrickfergus Presbytery and a member of the Christian Aid Ireland Board. Hobbies include running (usually alone and at his own pace) and singing (best kept in the safe confines of a male voice choir).