“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:1-2).
“Can you hear me now?” Yeah, I’m tired of the weasel, too. I mean, who can stand a nerdy little pip-squeak who exudes such overconfidence and condescending pride toward any perceived threats? Aren’t techie geeks supposed to be afraid of everyone else? (Sorry my computer programming friends – you’re typically not known for your burly masculinity.) Where does this guy get the nerve to walk so freely and fearlessly through these 30 second commercials?
His strength, confidence and carefree attitude comes from being part of a large, trustworthy and reliable network.
In much the same way, we Christians are not strong in ourselves. We are all fragile, weak, sinful people who stand little chance against plots of the evil one and the temptations common to all in this life. Yet, we do have strength, power and security that comes from being part of a much larger network — the universal family of believers (i.e., the Body of Christ). We run the race marked out for us with confidence because we do not run alone. We are surrounded by a great network of witnesses who have gone before us, and who cheer us from both sides of heaven. Further, we follow on the heals of the pioneer and perfecter of faith, Jesus Christ.
Still many attempt the faith journey on their own. They run many risks and miss many joys that come from being bonded together in a brotherhood and sisterhood of believers in the uphill struggles that befall us in this all too often darkened landscape. The oft quoted words of the Teacher are a firm plea to such lone ranger Christians:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecc. 4:9-12).
So, love him or hate him, the Verizon pipsqueak is more like us than we would like to admit. Let us learn from him both (1) that we need the support of a larger network to survive the journey and (2) the confidence and security that comes from being connected to Christ’s strong body, the church.