Thursday, September 23, 2004
Is this heaven?
Heaven is a baseball game that never ends.

Intramural softball rocks. Went 2-for-6 with a pair o' singles, scored a run. Forgot how to slide into the third the first time on base, overran the bag and was tagged out. Doh! Made some dazzling grabs at short, then moved to right and embarrassed myself soundly. I was set and the pop fly just sailed a foot past my glove. I blame the wet grass and my traction-less shoes. Seriously.

Ever try to read an entire book of the Bible in one sitting? I'm supposed to read Matthew as many times as I can before Tuesday. Sheesh. I'll be lucky to do it twice. I got to chapter 25 in an hour before I had to take off for the ballgame.

I led my small group today in Kingdom, Church & World. This week's topic was OT narrative. Lucky me. This is right up my alley.

One of the biblical passages we looked at was Hebrews 11, and I'd forgotten how much I love that bit. By faith... by faith... by faith... we get this litany of Sunday School action figures, and then the author pulls this on us: "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect" (Hebrews 11:39-40).

Hold on there, tiger. These guys haven't gotten yet what they'd hoped for. The story ain't over yet. Their story isn't over yet. All stories have a beginning, middle and end, and this is a story that it isn't yet finished. What Abel, Abraham, Isaac and Moses started is not yet complete. This Christian life we've embarked on is not hundred-yard dash. It's not a marathon. It's a relay race, and the baton passed from Noah to Joseph to Rahab has passed though the ages and now finds itself in our hands. We now find ourselves in the midst of this grand, epic story. The story of faith is now ours. And all these heroes of the faith cheer us on as they await the reward they were promised, waiting to see our part, waiting the watch those who will come after us. Their story is now our story.

By faith, Peter went to seminary and... Story's not over. Go on, give it a try: By faith [your name here]... Finish the sentence. I dare you.

And the sixty-ish African-American pastor in my small group says to me, "Son, that'll preach."

posted by Peter at 1:29 AM
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