Reading: 2 Timothy 4: 6-8
As Paul looks back over a lifetime, he is pleased with how he finished. He knows he had his moments. We all do. Paul grew up like all other Jewish boys – learning the Torah and practicing the family trade. He worked hard at learning the Law and rose to become a Pharisee. Then this Jesus fellow came along and started to cause a stir. Paul stuck to his traditional faith and soon Jesus was crucified and buried. But the newfound “Way”, as it was known, continued to grow and spread. Paul, known then as Saul, took up the mantel and led the charge to stamp out this fledgling religion. But then one day, on his way to Damascus to round up some followers of the Way, Paul himself met Jesus. Paul encountered the risen Christ and Paul became a new creation. From then on he worked tirelessly to teach the good news of Jesus Christ to any and all who would listen.
Paul has “fought the fight, finished the race, kept the faith”. Paul is pleased with how he has spent the last years of his life. There is no regret, no second thoughts. Paul has been a great champion of sharing Jesus with others. He has done all he could do for a Savior that changed his life forever. Paul now sees his life as being poured out like a thank offering, a gift made to God for the change that Jesus Christ has wrought in his life. Having given fully of himself, Paul is content with his life of service offered to the Christ he loves.
Paul exemplifies the simple servant that Jesus calls us all to be. It is the life that Jesus first modeled as well. When we offer ourselves out of a love for God and a love for neighbor, we too are fighting the good fight. When we step into the opportunities that God gives us, we too are keeping the faith. Each day, as we strive to fall more in love with God and to grow deeper in our faith, we too are finishing the race as faithful disciples. May we bring glory and honor to God in all we do.