Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Tigers Prayer Service

Massillon Tigers Prayer Service
November 2, 2019
Hebrews 12:1

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

What a week you all have had!  So much going on.  It makes me tired just reading the schedule, to be honest.  And all week long there have been people yelling for you and yelling at you.  I would guess it all feels pretty overwhelming, and might even make you ask yourself, “Wait.  Who’s the person who’s actually playing this game today?”  And . . . that’d be you.  No matter how much people encourage you do play well, it’s still going to be you out there on that field.

And I’m guessing everyone you ran into this week had some piece of advice for you, from how to play the game, to what to eat this morning.  Just because some of all that noise is helpful, doesn’t stop it from being noise. And you all know that everything is going to get a lot louder this afternoon.   And that’s why I want to tell you this:  The annual service here at St. Timothy’s is a chance to just stop all the noise for a minute.  A chance to sit and rest in the presence of God and one another.  For this time here today, it’s okay to just be silent.  To give yourself time to think and reflect and just sit, without taking notes, or yelling back to me, or bracing yourself for somebody running into you at full speed from the side.

A few minutes ago, I read to you that verse from the letter to the Hebrews:  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, in the faith and on the field.  Some who have played on this team before you, like our own John Muhlbach.  And some who are destined to simply watch the game, like me.  But you are also surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, and who cheer you on from a different place.  Some cheer you on from another part of the country, and some cheer you on from another place entirely.

But there’s another part of that scripture verse that I want to be sure you notice.  The writer says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”  The race marked out for us.  Because, sure, all those other people are cheering you on, happy to tell you what this game meant for the team in their day.  But today’s game is not their game; it is your game.  Today is the race marked out for you.  No one else will play this game, on this day, against that particular team . . . who shall not be named in God's house.

This game is yours alone.  But you are not alone.  That’s the thing that I hope you’ll remember today.  This game is yours alone.  But you are not alone.  Go Tigers!


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