I am planning a day hike with my daughter Solveig this upcoming Monday that will cover more miles than I have ever completed in a single day on the Superior Hiking Trail. To make this happen I will plan our route and we will stay on the right trail for many hours. I will also be carrying a daypack instead of my usual bursting at the seams backpack. We will bring a good amount of water and nutritious food to keep us strong throughout the entire day. I bring this fun event for me up because I think it ties into our theme for Sunday in many ways.
The primary text for this Sunday is Hebrews 12.1-2
Here are some of the similarities that cross my mind as I read the text.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,… The trail that Solveig and I will be going on has been marked out by others that have gone before us. If we follow the trail markers we will get to the right place. *Are we learning from those that have gone before?
let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,… As I mentioned earlier, we are looking to go long and fast on the trail so we will be carrying as little as possible. But we will bring the necessary items to stay strong and safe. We will keep our boots tied so we don’t get “entangled” in them and we will wear the right clothes so that we are able to move freely. *Are you carrying the right things and laying aside the things that are weighing you down?
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,… Our hike will not be a short little walk in the park. We will be climbing, descending, scrambling and sweating. We will be needing to pay attention to where our feet are landing so that we do not take any spills that would keep us from continuing our journey. The route has been chosen and the only way to get to our destination will be to stay on the right trail. *Are we sticking with it on the path God gave us to travel?
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. This is Solveig’s first time going for a “major hike” so she told her friends that she will just do what her dad says. I am far from a professional backpacker but I have been on the trail a great deal more than Solveig. Her statement of confidence and trust fills me with both joy and the usual sense of wanting to take care of my little girl.
Obviously, I am not literally comparing my provision for Solveig as equal in any way to how Jesus takes care of us, but it does create a nice little illustration. It fills Jesus with joy when He considers that we are looking to Him as the one that is the creator and perfecter of our lives. Our Father in Heaven provides all that we need to “run the race or hike the trail” that is set before us. So, as we go through our days we are invited to journey with confidence and freedom. We can celebrate that through all the twists and turns, the ups and downs of life we will end up safely at home. Jesus has blazed the trail perfectly and completely so just trust in Him!
Pastor Nick Mundis