Last time I wrote I outed myself as a sporting tragic. At high school I played almost every sport that I could sign up for. In all honesty I was never much of a runner, but I did usually make the relay team. What I loved about the relay was that it wasn’t simply the first runner across the line who won the race; it was the team who crosses the finish line first with the baton in hand who wins the race. Once the last runner of the team crosses the line, the whole team is rewarded!
On reflection it seems that the race is about the baton, not the runners; and the baton must always remain the fastest member of the squad!
The Christian life is like a relay race. We’re each called not only to be disciples of Christ but to “make disciples” (Matt 28:19-20). Each new disciple must grasp tightly the ‘baton’ of biblical truth and pass it on to another, who passes it to another, and so on. To win the race we (individually and as the church) must intentionally live for Christ in the present. We are the relay team of God!
In 2Tim 1:13-14 Paul wrote “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me - a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you. Paul was passing the baton to Timothy!
In the same letter (2Tim 2:1-2), Paul ordered Timothy to strengthen himself in the grace of Jesus and pass on biblical truth to people who would, in turn, do the same: Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. In this we hear that components of passing the baton are simple:
To fulfil the Great Commission, we must all be participants rather than spectators in this relay of faith that God has called us to run. We must pass the baton to as many people as possible so there will always be those who are reaching out to others with the Gospel, establishing others in their faith, and equipping others for the purpose God has called them for. One day when we stand before Jesus Christ, every person we have passed the baton to and those from whom we have received the baton, will stand together awaiting our reward. May we each be able to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2Tim4:7)
Grace & Peace
Jen is an energetic and passionate disciple of Christ who loves to share Jesus with anyone who will listen!