With my moving to Nashville Memorial Day weekend after 22 years in the same community and five and a half years at the same church, this month has been one of last things. I've had my last team tennis match after 22 years on the same team, my last bridge club after 13 years, and my last Atlanta professional sports event, which I have been attending my entire life. I've made it through my last sermon, my last Session meeting, my last Presbytery meeting, my last Wednesday Night Senior High Bible Study, and my last Sunday Night Live where the youth "roasted" me in a night I will always cherish. And...this morning I had my last Senior High/Lambert High Breakfast Club at Chick-fil-A.
What do you say to a group of students you've been discipling for many years for your last gathering? I chose to share one of my favorite Bible passages from the book of Hebrews:
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, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:1-2
These words are posted in my office at home and are committed to memory as they encapsulate what being a disciple is all about. Our spiritual journeys are not a wind sprint; they are a marathon. We are in it for the long haul. As we live our lives on earth, we are surrounded by the great saints of the church, now joined by Connie Overby, who have gone before us having run their race and are now in our "grandstand" cheering us on.
In this race of faith, according to this fabulous passage, we are called very simply to do three things: lay aside our sin, run with perseverance, and look to Jesus. In other words, we get rid of whatever is holding us back from an intimate relationship with God, we give God our best and hang in there, and we always, always, always look to Jesus as our guide, our inspiration, our rock. So....lay aside sin, run with perseverance, look to Jesus; lay aside sin, run with perseverance, look to Jesus. May such practices become as ingrained in us as what we do when we shampoo: lather, rinse, repeat!
Good times together this morning at the last
Senior High Breakfast Club of the year!
Prayer for Today
O God, help us to hang in there no matter what. Give us courage and strength by your Holy Spirit to run our race of life faithfully until that day when we hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Amen.