We welcomed some past members, other friends and supporters, and members of our advisory group. We celebrated, remembered all God's faithfulness over these years, and looked forward to the future. We thought about Hebrews 12:1-2 where we read this:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (NLT)
We stand in the line of millions who have lived the life of the faith before us. Hebrews 11 lists many of them - Abraham, Moses, etc etc - and we know those through the history of the church who have run the race before us. But it's our turn now. We are on the track for this part of the race. We live in this generation among these cultures, and it's our responsibility to reach out with the love of Christ to bless those around us and share his message.
The relay baton is in our hands now. We are cheered on by the crowd of witnesses who've run the race before. So let's throw off what slows us down and holds back. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus, and receive faith to keep going until our part of the race is done and we hand the baton on to the next runners.