March 24, 2018

Cheering Us On

March 24, 2018


John 19:30

This weekend’s reading: John 19:30

On the cross, Jesus cries out, “It is finished!”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which 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….” (Hebrews 12:1)

I remember one of Bishop Joe Pennel’s great illustrations of this passage. While running laps on a local high school track and reflecting on this scripture, he imagined Paul, Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley, and family and friends as a “great crowd of witnesses” in the bleachers cheering him on as he ran his laps.

As he told his story, my mind drifted to my running my race of life with the same patriarchs and matriarchs plus my family and friends who’ve died cheering me as I head toward the prize of Christ Jesus. And just as family and friends cheered when I used to run races in school, I can imagine all the Kingdom of Heaven cheering when we all cross the finish line completing our races in life.


  • Who have been people who’ve “cheered you on” in life?
  • What difference does it make to know that Jesus is not only cheering you on, but he’s running the race with you?


  • Do you like to run races? How does it feel to run races?
  • How does it feel with people cheer you on whether you are running a race, dancing in a recital, playing a game, singing a song, or drawing pictures?
  • How might we as a family help Jesus cheer for each other?

Most loving gracious Lord, we know you died for us because you love us. Lord, as family friends cheer us on, we know you are also cheering and shouting with us as we run the race of life. Lord, please help us help you cheer others on in their life races as well. In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.