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Unbeatable endurance

Most parents are glad school is back in session. Students’ opinions vary widely.

One high school student reflected on the start of another school year this way: “It’s an endurance race. Got to get through a day at a time. Got to fill up every day with everything I need to run the race – and win. Can’t do it by myself either. Jesus tries to give me what I need, and what’s really cool is, I can help Him fill up other people too. That’s unbeatable endurance!”

As disciples of Christ, shouldn’t we be going ‘back to school’ with Him every day?

I shared conversation with a very excited brand new first-grader the other day. He could hardly sit still – he was SO thrilled with the new world opening before him.

I asked him what he liked best about first grade, and his answer was interesting.

“It’s not really back to school,” he grinned, “’cause it’s really all different, and I learn something new every day. That’s what I like!”

God reaches all of us in new and amazing ways each and every day. The trick is to go “back to school” with God each day!

“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, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” — Hebrews 12:1-2

When I described our congregation as Christ’s “everyday church for everyday people,” a young woman responded to me with this: “Do you mean it? I mean, like everyday, like more than just Sunday, more than, ‘see me go to church and then do whatever the other days?’ So what does that look like? I think I’d like some of that.”

I thought about what this young woman was asking as her eyes met mine. Serious. Hopeful.

“Well,” I told her, “I’m praying and working to lead and help Christ grow a faith community wide open to God’s transformation of people into committed, everyday followers of Jesus Christ.”

We seek to be a church which connects and grows people in true community, deep Christian faith and a passion for sharing Christ’s love and grace.

Every person is created with God-given gifts – every person matters, every day – and every person deserves to be equipped to use those gifts to make a difference.

“Even me?” she asked. I could see her daring to hope. It was plain as day, written across her face, and I suddenly realized I was looking down at her in her wheelchair.

I grabbed a nearby folding chair. Now at eye level, I assured her, “Especially you. Especially me. Especially that little boy over there. Especially each of us.”

We are all called. Chosen. Given gifts for ministry. How are you connecting? Growing? Being equipped? No one can make a difference in the world for Christ quite the way you can. No one.

And it’s not “just for Sundays,” either. It’s an everyday thing. We are invited and welcomed to Christ’s table to worship and be fed on Sunday, and if we really want to live strong, enduring, victorious lives, we regularly engage in Scripture study and reflection with other disciples.

Say, with that high school student, “It’s an endurance race. Got to get through a day at a time. Got to fill up every day, with everything I need to run the race – and win. Can’t do it by myself either. Jesus tries to give me what I need, and what’s really cool is, I can help Him fill up other people too. That’s unbeatable endurance!”

We are disciples of Christ every day. The Lord calls us to be: An everyday church for everyday people!

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