Friday, March 1, 2019

Going the Distance

One of the most bittersweet books of the Bible is a short letter the Apostle Paul wrote to a young colleague and friend named Timothy. Paul is probably writing from the Mamertine prison in Rome. It is a dungeon with only one entrance, a hole 15 feet from the floor. Most were left to die there. No one escaped. Paul was waiting for his death sentence to be carried out.

Paul is down. He is in a horrible place. His legal sentence is worse. And even some of the people he called friends and Christians have turned their backs on him. From the words he writes we can almost picture an old man sitting in filth. Cold, alone, he desperately asks his younger friend to come quickly to help him die well. If ever there was a scene to remind us that Jesus Christ never promised a problem free life to his followers, this is it.

But the letter ends on a powerfully triumphant note.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. *

Paul knew that the One he trusted in was rock solid. Despite the tragedy he was experiencing, he believed with all his heart that the life Jesus saved him for could not be compared with anything he would have to endure in this life. And so, Paul went the distance. Will we?

* 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Saturday evening service – 6:00 pm
Sunday morning service – 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.