September 1st – The Opening Ceremony



Today I want you to imagine that you are exploring the labyrinth corridors cut into an ancient mountain. They have become ‘changing rooms’ for athletes at the original Olympic games. The walls of these corridors are lined with memorial tablets, even portraits, and occasionally statues of the greatest competitors who have used these chambers before you and have run their race. Some of the tablets contain inscriptions packed with the records of the achievements of the previous competitors and they are all world famous names.
That’s how I see the wonderful picture which begins to unfold in the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapters 11 and 12. It’s as if everyone that has gone before has centred down on this one place, where we now find ourselves. All the tortuous history of faith in God has been waiting for this, and now its time has come: Christ’s coming, being the climax of all history. And, by God’s grace, we are a part of it.
As we pass through the shadowy corridor of the history of faith, lined as it is with memorial tablets to the great heroes and heroines of living trust in God, we become aware of four things:
ONE:-All history has been waiting for this hour. It has all been leading up to this. This is the acceptable time of the Lord.
TWO:-The late, great dead had not until now received their reward. They had lived and died trusting in the living God, and now, because of the Jesus Event, their time, as well as ours, had come.
THREE -They have been waiting, as it were, in the grandstand, and as we step out into the sunlit arena they are all around us, like great banks of clouds, but willing us on.
FOUR:-It’s now our turn to go for gold. We’re on!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
So now it is our turn to run in the Christian Olympics.
Let’s follow this theme for the next few days, seeing how best to ‘go for gold’.
A prayer:
For all the saints who from their labours rest Who Thee by faith before the world confessed Thy Name O Jesus, be for ever blessed. Hallelujah.
Now read Mark 11:1-11

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