Text: Hebrews 11:29-12:2
…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us…
The writer of Hebrews (who is probably not Paul, as many modern scholars have pointed out) draws on a sports image which appears in the authentic letters of Paul:
Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air [1Cor 9:24-26];
It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain [Phil 2:16].
Contemporary preachers are also often drawn to sports metaphors. If you are an athlete or sports enthusiast, to what sport might you compare your faith? What are the skills that are needed, the goal that is set forth, the training that is required?
If you are not a sports fan, to what would you compare your faith? Is it a painting or song? A dance? A political campaign? A trip? Allow the images related to your understanding of faith to unfold themselves and see what you discover!
– Andy Kille
“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.