Scripture: Hebrews 11:32-12:2
Key verse: (12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us
Reflection: A friend looks up at a “V” formation of ducks migrating across the sky. He looks at his companion and asks, “Do you know why one side of the “V” is longer than the other?” The companion, expecting some scientific factoid about air movements or hierarchy in the air, responds in the negative. To which the friend replies, “Cause there are more ducks on that side.”
Seriously, the question that needs to be answered is: Why do birds fly in a “V” formation?” Well, it would be very difficult to fly in an “S”!
The true and beautiful answer is in aerodynamics. The bird in the front of the flock produces rolling currents of air as the bird beats his wings. These rolling currents produce updrafts and downdrafts, reducing the amount of work the birds directly behind the leader are forced to do. Every bird that flies behind another benefits that much more. On long flights, the lead bird changes, spreading out the workload. Flying in groups, birds can fly farther and fly faster than flying alone.
As a people of faith, we have those who fly in front of us, those who fly behind us, and others who take our place in the front when we tire. But we do not fly alone. Paul is telling his readers and listeners that we are not alone in the race of life. The race we run may be long, and tiring, but we journey with others. We do not run the race alone. Surrounded by others who witness to the power of Christ, we are strengthened. Surrounded by others who are running that same race, pushing though cramps and fatigue along with us, we are bound in community. The race we run is not a sprint, it is not even a marathon. It is a life-long endeavor.
The great Mighty Ducks movie line says it all… “Ducks fly together!”
I wonder who is flying with you.
Prayer: In the turbulent winds of our journey, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses in your name O Lord. Thank you for the hand that holds mine in times of trouble. Thank you for the arms that wrap me in love in times of doubt. Thank you for those who have gone before us and for those who come after. May we run with perseverance. For those that journey along with us, we give you thanks. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].