Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Keep Running!

Scripture:  Hebrews 12:1-3

Higher Ground
I’m pressing on the upward way,
 New heights I’m gaining every day;
 Still praying as I’m onward bound,
 “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”


Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
 By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
 A higher plane than I have found;
 Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
 Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
 Though some may dwell where those abound,
 My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.


I want to live above the world,
 Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
 For faith has caught the joyful sound,
 The song of saints on higher ground.


I want to scale the utmost height
 And catch a gleam of glory bright;
 But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,
 “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”


This is usually not a week when we think  of being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses-- maybe on Reformation or All Saints' Day we do, but being on a journey as difficult as the one we are on, climbing, higher and higher each day of this week toward the cross to the place of complete darkness of complete betrayal, it is good to remember that we are not alone. 

Last summer, I took up running for the first time in many years. I don't know if I had completely lost my mind, but one day out of the blue, I declared to my husband that "I want to learn to run." Holding back laughs knowing how un-athletic  I am, he found a way to be kind  and offered to go out with me on my first jog. In our neighborhood full of rolling hills, I was pooped by the first block and almost deflated. I wanted to quit. But, as I saw a partner giving his all beside me, I couldn't quit. I made it up the next hill and then the next, until I finished and returned home to crash. 

This, I believe is what our spiritual journey to the cross is all about. How easy it would be for us to turn away or stop as we see what is up ahead! But, it is good to remember that we are not alone. Father Abraham and Sarah are with us; Jonah is with us; Brother Peter is with us, and all those in countless communities of faith around the world are with us too. 

So, take heart my friends, you are surrounded by a great cloud that says to you, "Keep running!"

Prayer:  Jesus, how easily each of us strays from your love; we desire to quit when we see the mountains you call us to climb with you. Help us to be still and know you are God this day as we recognize the symbols of your grace given to us as encouragement to keep running. AMEN.

 The Reverend Elizabeth Hagan

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