Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
LIMPING TOWARDS THE FINISHING LINE
Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen you're weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, …..may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed (12:12-13).At the beginning of this chapter, the preacher roused his congregation with the exciting picture of a footrace. Banners were flying, the stadium was filled with spectators, and the members of the congregation were urged to respond like the trained athletes: "stripping off the weights and running like greyhounds toward the tape"(12:1). But now, the preacher advances somewhat a different image: the Christian as a runner with a limp.
Here it is a different race. Unlike the contemporary marathons, it is a race of grace. It is a race of the weary people who are encouraged by the power of God (Isa.35:3). In the Christian race, if you play hurt, you end up healed; if you stay on the sidelines, the injury just get worse (13). As it was in the above section, the suffering of the christian is compaired reduce crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He is the model runner. Christian life is a call to witness Jesus Christ in this world of marathons.
Christian race is a different race. What makes it different is that the responsibility that we show to the fellow runners. We are to try to make peace to the best of our ability with everyone in the community and act toward others in the everyday relations of life in the holy ways of mercy and justice that we have seen in Jesus (14). It is a responsible race where we are asked to “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God” (15).
The preacher invites us to go to the memories of Jacob who wrestled with God; "he was limping but ended up with a divine blessing"(Gen.32:22-32). Then he talks about Esau, his twin brother who sold his birthright “for a single meal”. The congregation is exhorted not to become like Esau. Esau missed his inheritance and then lost his race. The congregation is advised here not to be tempted by the colorful pressures around us. If you do, you will loose the “joy set before you” (2). Thus “make straight paths for your feet " (13).
Prayer: Lord help us to feel your empowering grace in our pilgrimage so that we may strengthen others to sense it. Amen
Rev. Y.T.Vinayraj, Chicago