The Bible often uses the word picture of a distance race to describe the Christian life. I have been impressed this past year with our need for endurance, thus the marathon metaphor has really rung true for me. As I thought about my need for endurance, the passage that came to mind first is in Hebrews.
Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 12:1-2 NAS20).
The “witnesses” of verse one refers back to the heroes of the faith mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes showed us that by faith, we can endure, we can finish the race. And so it is important that we do what they did, rid ourselves of every obstacle and sin which entangles us and look to Jesus for the endurance to run the race that has been set before us. We also see in the second part of the passage that Jesus was able to endure the cross because of “the joy set before Him.” Let us embrace the “joy” that has been set before us, an eternal future with our wonderful Savior!
The other “run the race” passage I thought about is in First Corinthians.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win (1Cor 9:24, NAS20).
The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write this during a time a great turmoil and uncertainty in the church and for Paul personally. In effect, he is reminding us that the circumstances are part of the “race”. This is where we are so we need to stop waiting for changes our circumstances that may never come. We must run the section of the course we are on at the time and not wait around for the course to change.
A great deal of uncertainty remains as we move into February of 2021. But our Lord Jesus remains constant. He never changes, He is always faithful, and nothing is too difficult for Him. So what we need in these uncertain times is endurance. To press on to keep running this race on the section of “track” on which we currently find ourselves.
On another note, thanks to all who attended the Annual Congregational Meeting on January 24th in the Amphitheater. We had a quorum of members present and so were able to vote on the three agenda items. First, we elected Dominic Heiden to be the Church Moderator. He will preside over our business meetings. Scott Reynolds was elected as the Vice Moderator. Second, the membership gave a vote of affirmation to the two Elder candidates, Glen Kippel and Jorge Rodriguez. And third, we approved the proposed 2021 Budget (copies are available in the church; call ahead to arrange a time to pick one up).
May God bless us all to run with endurance the race that has been set before us!
In Christ our living hope,