Pressing On (01-10-21)
A Bible Reading: Philippians 3. 10 - 14 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
A Thought If you ask mountaineers why they want to climb Everest, the answer will come back along the lines of “because it’s there!” I have some sympathy with this view. I am not a mountaineer, but I do love hills and mountains and I do like the challenge of getting to the top of a particular nearby peak ‘when it is there’.
We have recently returned from a holiday on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, an area we have not visited before. Staying in Seatown near Bridport, we discovered that Golden Cap was a summit just to the west along the coastal path. We also discovered that this is actually the highest point on the whole of the south coast.
We’re a bit out of practice on steep coastal paths, so we began by conquering the high point to the east, Thorncombe Beacon, not quite so high but still a stiff climb. Then it was the turn of Golden Cap. We chose a longer, more gradual approach to begin with, but there was no escaping the final ascent. We had to press on and go for it! Fortunately, the National Trust had thoughtfully added steps, which made this final climb considerably easier. We achieved our goal and of course, once at the top the views were fabulous. The day was bright and clear and we could see across to the Isle of Portland to the east and the Devon coast stretching out to the southwest.
Like climbing a hill or mountain, getting to know Christ takes time and effort. It takes discipline and training, through reading the Bible, prayer and worship. We can do these things on our own and we can also do them in the company of others in church services and small groups. The Alpha course may be the starting point for some, a good way to begin the journey gently with plenty of opportunity to ask questions and gain insights and encouragement. As we get to know Christ and to understand more about his death and the power of his resurrection, we get a view of the long-term goal and we press on toward the final destination of God’s eternal presence in heaven.
A Prayer Lord Jesus, we thank you for calling us heavenward.
May we press onto the goal
of getting to know you more fully day by day. Amen.
Golden Cap, highest point on the south coast, photographed from the sea