25 September, 2022

Every Time

by | 12 September, 2022 | 0 comments

By Stuart Powell  

High school track meets feature athletes running a variety of distances around a 400-meter oval. In the Midwest, the 3,200-meter run is the longest of those races. Runners race eight laps around the track. The race starts at the beginning of turn one. The 100-meter curve is followed by a 100-meter straightaway, then another 100-meter curve, and finally the 100-meter homestretch. The 3,200 has 16 long left-hand turns and 16 straightaways between the start and finish of the race. No matter where the race is run, the track is the same. Each race finishes where it began. 

The beginning of the race is important, but not as critical as the end. Prizes aren’t awarded until the end. Trophies are reserved for the finishers. Although spectators and teammates often cheer and shout encouragement, the runner’s  relationship with the start/finish line is what matters most in a 3,200-meter run. The runners step over the start/finish line nine times during a race. In all but the final crossing, the line delivers the same message: keep going . . . finish! Every time a runner crosses the line, the longing to finish grows stronger.  

As Christians, we too have a finish line upon which we focus. We may not realize, however, that every time we gather around this table should serve as a reminder that our race is continuing. The time at this table is like crossing the line that completes each lap. The apostle Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth,  

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and after he had given thanks he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes  (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, New English Translation, author’s emphasis). 

If the loaf and cup of Communion could talk, they might offer this message: “Keep going. The end of the race is drawing near.” The longing to finish grows stronger every time we eat the bread. Every time we drink, it builds up our hope. Every time we gather, we realize that Jesus’ promises are nearer now than when we first believed.  

Keep going until the end. 

Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church. 

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Articles

Help Wanted

Lycoming Christian Church (Linden, PA) is seeking a full-time minister of children, youth, and young adults. Beechwold Christian Church in Columbus, OH, is searching for a student minister. Rising Sun (IN) Church of Christ is seeking a new lead minister.

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.