January 15, 2023
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
I started wearing glasses in first grade. Due to the nature of my eyesight problems I also wore a patch on my right eye for over a year. My right eye was so strong that it did all the work, to the point that my left eye wouldn’t focus and was almost blind. The patch was intended to refocus and retrain my left eye. Over time it worked. I still had glasses but my eyes were working more evenly and focusing together, the way they should.
With this story in mind our word for this week is “refocus”. There are many scripture passages about focusing our minds on the right things (Eg. Col. 3:2, Phil 4:8, Mat 6:33). In Hebrews 12:1-3 we are told that our gaze should be fixed on Jesus. Our focus should be on what he did for us and what he is calling us into. Focusing on Christ gives us the strength to turn from sin and gives us perspective to face the challenges that come our way.
As a kid my left eye incorrectly focused for so long that it stopped seeing all together. Similarly there are times when our focus strays from the truth. We get so caught up in the challenges of our day to day life, that we fail to see where God is working. It is in those times that we need a “patch” to help us refocus. Sometimes that “patch” is time in scripture, prayer, or a worship service. Other times it comes from another believer.
Hebrews 12:1 says that we are “surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses”. The author is reminding us that the Christian life is done in community. We are given stories of faithful believers to encourage us and placed in groups of people to support us. So, when we are caught in a cycle of busyness, stress, and fatigue, God has placed specific people in our lives to help us redirect our gaze back to Him.
Take a moment to reflect: In what circumstances do you find it hard to keep your gaze fixed on Christ? How can you support and encourage others in your community? Who can you reach out to, to help you keep your gaze fixed on Christ?
Father, we thank you for Jesus and what he has done for us. As we go about our week let our focus remain on that. May we not get swept up in our own plans and intentions but focus on you. When the distractions seem overwhelming give us courage to reach out to others to support us. Thank you for the fellowship of believers and the people you have placed in our lives to help us on this journey. In Christ’s name, Amen
Blessings in this week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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