Meditation: Running the Race and Staying the Course
We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1&2
Racing is a national past time. We race in triathlons, we race against the clock. We race around finishing errands. We participate in the “rat race” and as we get closer to November we are well aware of political races. As followers of Jesus we have made a choice about which race we are running. Jesus’ words and example of love are at the beginning, sustain us throughout, and greet us at the end of the race of love.
Powerful people around the world try to ensnare the public to gain or retain power. The threat of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, both offensive and defensive, seeks to hold citizens of all nations hostage to fear. Each day children, the elderly and powerless citizens are being destroyed by advanced weapons technology. We can not be a true follower of Jesus and remain silent witnesses of these atrocities.
Most weapons technologies are developed in the US with the monetary, educational, and political support of Christian citizens. They are then bought and sold to enslave us all. As followers of Jesus it is essential we keep our eyes on the author and finisher as we renounce the arms race and stay the course on the race of love for humanity .
This is at the core of political debate and worldly races of all types. We transcend distracting issues by reminding the world through words and deeds of the transforming power of love. Rather than thinking of sins as behaviors which other people do it is good to remember the list of the seven deadly sins and look within. It is sin which entraps us and causes us to lose sight of love.
The scriptures teach that with knowledge comes understanding and with understanding comes wisdom. Wisdom brings peace to all areas of our influence; family, community, nation, world and even informs decisions which impact our universe. By following Jesus’ teachings and example Pride is traded for Humility, Greed is traded for Generosity, Lust is traded for Self-control, Envy is traded for Love, Gluttony is traded for the Faith to be Temperate, Wrath is traded for Kindness, Sloth is traded for Zeal.
With our eyes fixed on Jesus we are laser clear. We have no right or desire to cast the first judgmental stone at another or lash out in fear. The anniversary of September 11 during this election year will not be used to build compassion for the suffering but will be used to activate the sins which "so easily beset us. " We will be encouraged to fear and to respond with anger, hatred and violence. Our support is coveted to “stay the course”. The question we must again explore is which race are we running?
As followers of Jesus we are surrounded and encouraged by the spirit of those who have died professing God’s love, grace and forgiveness. It is now our turn to stand for the perfect love which casts out fear.
Prayer: Thank you for the witness of the great cloud of peace martyrs who stand as witnesses along the path as we run the good race. Let us not become entrapped in a net of destructive attitudes and behaviors. May we resist fear which is at the core of all sin and embrace love which gives courage. Amen
Ask yourself- What role do I play in the development, manufacture, purchase or use of deadly weapons. (all of us are minimally tied to arms production simply by paying taxes.)
Read accounts this week of peace maryters and remember September 11 of 1906
http://www.swarajpeeth.org/events/051109/index.php and Gandhi's witness to non-violence