Sunday, December 3: Champs & Misfits
A few years back I ran a marathon. Okay, it was a long time ago. Even though I was considerably younger it was still excruciating. It felt like running from Tacoma to the top of Mt. Rainier and back – barefoot. Your muscles ache, your lungs burn, and the soles of your feet sting with blisters on top of blisters. Then you “hit the wall” at the 20 mile mark and you start to think crawling to the end might be the only option.Does that sound like fun to you? Me neither. Nevertheless, as exhausting and painful as it can be there’s hardly anything more exhilarating than crossing the finish line of a marathon.
I mention this because the writer of Hebrews, at the beginning of chapter 12, compares the Christian life to a long distance race. “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
The writer is concerned. His Jewish Christian friends, feeling the pain of persecution and growing weary, are thinking about dropping out of the race to go back to their old way of life. So, as he nears the end of his letter, he encourages them to endure. To help them keep going, he gives them some perspective on their suffering and some advice on how to run the race. Jesus didn’t die so you could begin a race. He died so you could finish it. See you on Sunday.