by Rev Douglas Brauner
Jesus’ call to endurance.
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Eighteen years ago a movie classic was born: Galaxy Quest.
It’s my all-time favorite spoof of Star Trek, staring Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith. Jason Nesmith plays the role of Peter Quincy Taggert, the commander of the NSEA Protector. The crew of the space ship often find themselves in perilous situations. At the moment when everything seemed hopeless, Commander Taggert would say, “Never give up. Never surrender.”
That must be the attitude of these lettuce plants. They must have a leader daily barking out the command, “Never give up. Never surrender.” Most every other plant in my garden is dead. Some of those plants gave up quickly, others held on little longer, but even covered with snow these lettuce plants aren’t dead.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 English Standard Version
There are plenty of reasons for us to give up “looking to Jesus.” The world, our country, and our communities seem to be holding on by a thread. We’ve become numb to mass shootings, heartless politicians, and broken promises. If I can’t trust people, how can I trust God? It’s as if the serpent’s question rings as loudly in our ears as it did in Eve’s, “Did God really say…?” Does God really care?
The people to whom the writer of Hebrews speaks had the same questions that we do. For endurance he pointed them to those who suffered great pain, even death, and yet did not fall away from God’s redeeming love. The cross displays God’s pledge to us and to the world.
May we hear Jesus speak from his cross, “Never give up. Never surrender.” Heaven is worth the fight.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado