September 7th – A Yet More Glorious Day

Imagine you have run in the Olympic games. You just missed breaking the world record. Now you are in the grandstand, one of the great cloud of eye-witnesses, and you see someone who has entered for that event get off to a good start, and instead of running out of steam, grows in rhythmic energy, striding towards the tape, leading the field. Others are inspired by trying to keep up with him They strain every muscle to compete. At the beginning you find yourself quietly saying: “Come on, you’re ahead of the clock: come on”. Then you realise at the end that you are standing up, shouting your head off, roaring on the record-breaking runner, tears in your eyes – tears of joy.
Well, that’s how I imagine those who have gone before us in the Christian life: standing in excited encouragement when Christians make progress and stride ahead in the living faith of Christ. To see someone drop out, who has shown so much promise, brings from the crowd a gasp, a moan of disappointment. But to see someone going for gold, not slowing, not tiring, but giving it all he’s got, striving and leading the way, well that’s an unforgettable moment: a great day. That’s how I imagine the picture of the Christian Olympics in Hebrews Chapter 12 coming to a climax, with all God’s servants in glory, roaring you home. Your life’s purpose and dream consummated.
In the hymn “For all the saints who from their labours rest” there is a verse which I always find too moving to sing. It’s a kind of heavenly Palm Sunday:
“But Lo there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on his way. Hallelujah.”
There is a similar sentiment near the end of Pilgrim’s Progress as Mr. Valiant for Truth crossed the river in the strength of the God pictured in Isaiah, where it says:… this is what the Lord says who created, who formed you, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you …” Isaiah 43:1-2
“So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.”
A prayer:
Thanks be to you O living Lord, that the life we now live is but a part of life eternal; the fellowship we have with you, unites us to your family here on earth and in heaven, and that goal fills us with joy as we travel on.
Now read Zechariah Chapter 8.

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