Devotion and Prayer for Week of November 18, 2012

Meditation for the Week November 18, 2012

 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”                                                                                                         Hebrews 12:1-2

 

If the Christian’s life is like a race, how is that race best run?  With feet on the ground, head in the clouds, and eyes fixed on Jesus.

Feet on the Ground – The day-to-day stuff of our lives as God’s people happens on the ground, where we’re at, with the folks around us.  Some days the race is quite mundane; we rise, we eat, we converse a little, read a bit, watch a program or two, sit a while, and wait.  Other days the race is exciting, perhaps with an engaging program, a worship service, or a visit from someone dear.  At times, too, the race is difficult, when we’re in pain, feeling discouraged, or experiencing conflict with others.

Head in the Clouds – The chapter of Hebrews just before our text recounts all the men and women in the Old Testament who looked forward in faith to the coming of Jesus but died before the Lord’s birth.  Hebrews 12:1 calls these men and women of faith a “great cloud of witnesses.”  To run the Christian race with your head in the clouds means to draw encouragement from the example of faith given by all those believers who went before.  That’s not just Abraham, Moses, and David, mind you.  That’s also your grandmother who humbly served others in Christian love, your daddy who taught you about your Savior, and even your fellow residents here who trusted in Christ and have now gone to be with Him.

Eyes Fixed on Jesus – Finally and most importantly, the Christian race is run with eyes fixed on Jesus.  Jesus stands not just at the finish line of the race, urging us to follow His example of faithfulness and perseverance.  Jesus also goes with us every step of the way in this race, for He is present to strengthen us day by day through His means of grace.  His Word and Sacrament remind us that He has died and risen for us, but more than that, they actually bestow the very forgiveness that His death won for us.

With eyes fixed and focused on our Savior, head in the clouds, but feet on the ground, we will come safely to this race’s conclusion and our journey’s end.

 

Our Weekly Prayer

Jesus, Savior, bring me safely to my journey’s end.  Amen.