I wanted to take this time and relay this message that I heard today at the 8am service at Friendship West. Today, April 22, was Pastor Haynes' 29th anniversary as the senior pastor of the church and invited Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. to come and preach the Word of God.
The scritpure he used was Hebrews 12:1-3.
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which easily ensnares us, and let us with endurance run the race that is set before us...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith who for joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls."
The images used here are that of an athlete entering, training, competing, continuing and winning the race. This race has taken place among a crowd of supporters and witnesses who ran their own race and "have been their done that" and saying "We did it! You can too!"
The writer refers to keeping at running the race of faith while leaping over the hurdles of sin---keeping in the race and not giving up when exausted.
The pioneers of the civil right movement pressed on despite racial hatred and daily threats. Harriet Tubman is watching to see if we are still free. MLK is still watching to see if we will bow to the altar of white supremacy. Rosa Parks is watching to see if we will take the baton and run the race of social justice despite dealing with mass incarceration and education gaps and economic inequality.
Dr. Wright put it in terms of a relay race. The first leg was ran by Abraham who trusted God that He would bring him a child and discovered that God is the Lord who provides. The baton was passed to the prophets who wrote and spoke about the the true Word of God and brought lost souls to Christ. Then it was passed to the church, however, this is where the church got out of its lane and multiplied by division with the different denominations of Christianity and arguing over trivial matters such as how much Baptismal water should be used....all seemed lost but thank God for Jesus who became our anchor leg and continued the race to Calvary and finished it at the Cross, dying for our sins.
Jesus is the perfecter of our faith!!! This is a call to persevere and draw closer to God's heart, not questioning our faith when times are bad. Rather we are to move forward, embrace the call and learn from it to be better.
I now realize that through my faith and trust in Jesus, alll crooked places will be made straight, He will comfort me in the stormy seas of life and He will do exceedingly abundantly above whatever we ask or think! THANK YOU JESUS!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!!
RUN YOUR RACE!!!!! JESUS IS WITH YOU ALWAYS!