Christian Living

When nothing will stand still #1: Reflections on Hebrews 12

Monday, 23 March 2020, 23:09 I’ll be honest with you, I’m drinking more coffee. Nespresso pods do not seem to be in short supply… yet.

Many things I regularly fail to navigate well in family life have been… amped up. And almost everything I love about my job in teaching and Chaplaincy has been pulled inside-out.

I feel like my hands look. Flaky. Cracked.

But I’ve been here before. Not here, here. But the feeling, here.

Some years ago, I spent a few months memorising Hebrews 12 over the washing up as a means of having something solid and immovable in my head, when everything else in my life would not stand still.

I don’t have the mental capacity to put anything else that is new into my brain at the moment, so I’m going back to Hebrews 12. I’m going to share one verse at a time with a few thoughts. It won’t be researched. It won’t be ‘fresh’. It’ll be God’s word and my effort to think about it for at least a few minutes each day. If you’d like to follow along, feel free. If you’re encouraged by it, I’m thankful to the One who is the founder and perfecter of our faith.

#1: Hebrews 12:1
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, …

1. The crowd
Looking back over the crowd in Hebrews 11, it’s clear we are the anomaly generation. Everyone mentioned in chapter 11 lived through difficult times, often for years or decades on end. In a time of ‘unprecedented’ everything, what is actually ‘unprecedented’ is that we have been people of faith in comparatively easy days. The crowd is cheering; they’ve lived the challenge and the trial – not perfectly, but to the end.

2. The friction
In a race you want to minimise the friction, the resistance, the drag. Just as God’s people of old had to lay aside every weight and sin (unbelief, doubt, selfishness, pride) so too we also need to do the same. What weight and sin clings closely in this season? Fear and anxiety about the future, frustration, self-centredness… Put them aside; it’s hard to run with them.

3. The race
It’s long, so endurance is required. There is not only one winner. This is a race that is won by finishing it. My race might look different to yours, but we run it in the same way (look out for verse 2).