March 31

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…” vs. 1

Preachers often use sports metaphors to make points about our life in faith, and the writer to the Hebrews is no exception. Unfortunately, he didn’t know anything about golf, the most metaphoric game of all, but he is familiar with the Olympics, in particular the running of the marathon. In this, one of the most familiar verses in his letter, he describes life in Christ as a long-distance race, not one in which we’re trying to beat others to the finish line, but one that tests our endurance and perseverance. It’s a great analogy, one that corresponds with our experience. He implies that the biggest obstacle to living the good and faithful life is sin, a burden that plagues us every step of the way. As we learn to make use of the forgiveness that is ours by grace, the load is lightened, the potholes are filled, and the way made clear. And to top it all off we are told that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, all the Saints Triumphant, who cheer us on our way. And perhaps it will be them who greet us when the day comes and we complete the race. Now they cheer us on, then they will welcome us home. Such is the great promise of Easter!

Thought for the Day: Which of the Saints Triumphant is cheering loudest for me?

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