From the Word
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
We are entering the unique Indianapolis cultural environment called May. For most people in America, May means full-fledged Spring; flowers stretching to the sun and the sound of birds in full throat singing. In Indy, May means checkered flags planted in our yards and the scream of race cars speeding by. Many cities in America host car races. Indy has a month-long cultural event. People continue to live their lives and discuss those lives in casual conversation. May in Indy adds “what happened at the track today” to those conversations.
We, as Christians living here, are handed a month-long opportunity to share our faith, using a race as our way into the conversation. Granted, the race used as an example of our life of faith, is a running event. But the length of the 500, and all the things that can go wrong during the race, can be a wonderful example of our life of faith.
The drivers in the 500 face problems from within and without. So do we. They live in the apprehension that something will go wrong with their car. We know there is something wrong with us before the race begins. We are born sinful, and unable to overcome it. Our life/race begins by God’s grace in His covenant of Baptism, as we are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus (see Romans 6:1-11). God continually renews that covenant with us as we live each day in faith. The drivers must come into the pits to get fuel and tires to continue the race. We come to God for the grace He gives us in His Word, and in the Sacrament of the Altar.
The threat from without is that someone else will cause a wreck. We are assaulted from without by the devil, the world, and our own sinful nature. God forgives us, watches over us, and guides us (much like spotters at the race) and leads us through the perils of life.
The winner goes to victory lane to receive the various rewards of winning. God ushers us into eternity of heaven, where we receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10), drink of the living springs of water (Revelation 7:17), and receive the un-spendable fortune of eternity in heaven. Unlike the 500, the emphasis is all on God’s grace, not on us and our ability. What a wonderful contrast to bring to people’s attention!
Welcome to a wonderful cultural opportunity to witness; May in Indy.