Wednesday 18th November 2020

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing out eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12:1-2)

Yes, I know I stopped posting weekly reflections, but I felt I wanted to do another one, in the middle of the second lockdown, because I wanted to remind us all not to lose sight of our raison d’être as a church: Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

There are a lot of things that try and turn our eyes away from Jesus. On the big scale there are presidential elections, Brexit, pandemics and space shuttles; on the personal level there are illnesses and financial worries and all kinds of family matters.

And of course all those things are important. It matters who runs the US, Brexit will affect our every-day lives, and of course we don’t want to see our loved ones struggle with viruses or unpaid bills.

But if we focus on these things, we lose perspective. In the grand scheme of things, those things are still secondary and temporal, and one day even USA will be “a footnote in history” (as theologian John Piper said recently). The only thing that has eternal relevance is your relationship with Jesus, which is why we should fix our eyes on him.

After you’ve prayed for elections and trade deals and peace treaties, lift up your eyes and look at Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords who will rule eternally in his Father’s Kingdom.

After you’ve prayed for the vaccines and the NHS and people you know who have caught the virus, lift your eyes and look at Jesus, the Great Physician who took all our infirmities on himself when he died on the cross.

After you’ve prayed for protection for yourself and your loved ones, lift your eyes and look at Jesus who defeated death and brought life and immortality to light.

After you’ve asked the Father to provide for your needs and those of your friends and family (yes, Jesus tells us to pray for our own needs as well), lift your eyes and look at Jesus, the good Shepherd who will provide for his sheep according to their needs.

Worrying is natural, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Surely it’s much better to focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who has promised to go with us through the valley of the shadow of death (not a bad description of living with a deadly pandemic!), and knows what life on earth is like.

Whatever life throws our way, God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Heb 13:5), and he is faithful and true – so relax, your heavenly Father has got this!

And here’s a classic on that theme: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:






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