Hope to Carry On: March 27, 2024

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: Hebrews 12:1-3

“… let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith …” – Hebrews 12:1b

I don’t run. If I was on a trail and happened upon a hungry grizzly bear or mountain lion, I’d simply say grace and let them have at me. Oh, I’m sure I’d put up a fight. But run? No. No more. I never cared for running, even when I was young, hail, and hearty. I never reached the point in runnin’ where the endorphins would kick in (along with that mythical euphoria runners talk about). Not me. I found that if I ran to my destination, by the time it took me to catch my breath, I could have gotten there at a walk without the heavy breathing!

Well, the author of Hebrews seems to have a runner’s heart. More power to him. I don’t think his point is the speed with which one “runs,” but with having one’s attention on the journey itself. I can get behind that. I like the image of Jesus, first of all, as the pioneer. He is the trailblazer, not me. Nothing I do is new. It may be new to me, but not to God, so I simply need to follow the trail that’s been set by God’s holy ones.

Secondly, Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. Yes, I fall short. I always have; I always will. That doesn’t mean I should give up or not try. We do the best we can, knowing that when we get to the register and cash in our chips, Jesus covers any shortfall with his own Holy Debit Card. Removing our burdens like that, Jesus gives me the hope I need to carry on. He sweated it so I don’t have to. That’s what’s running through my mind as we head towards Easter, anyway.

Dear God, help me embrace the hope that is set before me by your Son, Jesus, so that I can nourish and grow in faith and love of You and your Creation. Amen.
-Fr. Keith Axberg