Singular or Plural?

Dan Howard   -  

We live in a pretty competitive society. For many people the daily goal is to be the best. Not to try their best, but to BE the best. If I where we see the best of the best, what would you say? The Hall of Fame? How about the Olympics? People train their whole lives for that moment. Years go into moments. Sometimes it’s not even a moment, it’s mere seconds. In those seconds, legends are made. A legacy is crafted. It is intense. Some names become synonymous with perfection in a sport. Jordan, Phelps, Bolt, Louganis. These are respected names….legends.

Yet a legend does not have to be the best to be worthy of remembering. Sometimes you are remembered for the difference you make.

Consider this event in the 2016 Games.

In both of those young ladies mind’s they had to be excited, ready to run, and create a memory that would be with them forever. I doubt neither of them was prepared for what really happened. A stumble, a fall, a pair of injuries.  Dreams shattered, bodies hurt. If the story ended there no one would be talking about it.  Instead two things happened that will make this moment last.

  1. Abbey D’Agostino had every right to be angry at Nikki for falling off the edge and removing her from the race. Instead her first concern was for her wellbeing.  She didn’t spring up and start running, she helped Nikki up.
  2. She finished the race. Even when lapped, and in obvious pain, she kept going.

Apply this now to Hebrews 12: 1-3 (ESV)

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.

We often compare life to running a race. But we also often get caught up in our desire to win. Why run a race if not to win right? The problem with that philosophy is that it removes the joy of running. If you are not having fun, you are running to survive. We were not made by God simply to survive. We were made to bring the joy of relationship to each other. We are designed to experience the amazing gift of fellowship. Crafted to show and reflect God’s glory. We run….we live!  We do so looking to Jesus and surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses….other runners and those who have already run their race. May we, like those Olympians strive to be the best we can be. May we also know when to set aside our desire to be the best and to help our fellow brother or sister up, that they might finish the race as well.  We are called into a community of saints. One of the more famous Bible verses is Matthew 18:20 (ESV)


For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”


Wait, why two or three….why not one? Shouldn’t God be among even the one…. God calls us to team sports. The lost sheep is by itself, the prodigal son has gone off alone, Elijah was told to leave the cave, Eve alone in the garden was vulnerable to the serpent. God has said from the beginning of time, “It is not good for man to be alone.” We get into the most trouble when we withdraw or isolate ourselves. When we gather, even in a group as small as two, you become a part of a community, a part of the church.  You are a part of the body of Christ, responsible to care for the rest of the body.

You are running a race. Today there might be a lot of joy in the running. Or today you might stumble and you might fall. Or you might see someone else fall. What do we do?

Ecclesiastes 4:10-12 (ESV)

If either of them falls down,

    one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

    and has no one to help them 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.

Be there for each other, my friends, pick each other up. Come together and pray.
Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. That joy is YOU.

Dear Christian, Keep Moving.

-Pastor Dan