April 5

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”

Since golf had not yet been invented, the writers of the New Testament were unable to use golf metaphors to describe the life that believers have in Christ. But the writer of Hebrews likely did know about the Olympics and couldn’t resist using the image of running as he encouraged his readers to persevere on their journeys of faith. Life is like a race, not in the sense that we’re trying to beat anyone to the finish line, but because it takes a certain amount of dogged determination just to avoid the obstacles and complete the course. In a race, it helps when there is a crowd of spectators who offer encouragement from the stands, and here we are reminded that we have that kind of backing from those who have run before us. This great cloud of witnesses is the Church Triumphant, and all those loved ones now resting in peace are cheering us on. And if that image doesn’t capture our imagination our writer tells us to remember that Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, has run the course before us. Even when the metaphors fall short, it’s helpful to know that as we follow the way blazed by Jesus we’ll one day receive our crown of glory.

Thought for the Day: What’s my favorite metaphor for life?

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