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, ESV)
This was the text chosen for the 68th Graduation Service, with the theme – Looking Up! We praise God for 109 students from the Four Schools, and Advanced Studies Department who successfully completed their studies. Congratulations to these 109 and welcome into the Alumni Family!!!
Rev Dr William Wan gave a challenging message to keep our eyes on Jesus, with an illustration of the once Olympic swimmer who kept her eyes on the shoreline despite the fog that clouded her vision. After several failed attempts because of the blinding fog, she started studying the shoreline. This mental image of the shoreline edged in her mind, finally enabled her to reach her destination! May we too ‘travel light’ (lay aside every weight, and sin) as we keep our eyes on Jesus (founder & perfecter of our faith)! This clear mental image of our Master will carry us through all the storms of life. He will guide us amidst the darkest and foggiest of circumstances to navigate the difficult situations, and stay on course, neither drifting away nor easily giving up!
In a recent Post on Give Him 15 by Dutch Sheets, he shared a chapter from his book entitled, The Pleasure of His Company. Sheets mentioned the biblical story of Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet and Martha distracted by many things. He said how he longs so much to be like Mary and sit and listen to the words of Jesus and enjoy his company but so often he is like Martha, preoccupied and distracted by so many things that crowd Jesus out! I resonate with Dutch Sheets! I too long to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him but many things distract me from unhurriedly enjoying the pleasure of his company!
As I pondered further on looking up to Jesus and to long for the pleasure of Jesus’ company, a song I learnt recently summarized these longings most aptly:
I want to know you, Jesus my Lord,
King of the heavens, King of my soul,
I trade my treasures and all my rewards,
Jesus to know you, then know you more.
In order to know Him more and more, I must cultivate the habit of lingering in His presence day by day, more and more…. Then I will be able to lay aside every weight and sin…
May God help us – to keep looking up to Jesus, lingering & enjoying His presence, and learning from Him daily!