Read Philippians 3:12-16.
No matter where we are on our journey of faith we’ve all set a goal. Granted, it might have been unconsciously set, but it was set ever the same. Like Paul throughout his letters, we orient and re-orient ourselves to Christ, Christ’s crucifixion, and the promise revealed to us in Christ’s resurrection. Paul reminds us that we move forward along our faith journey, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”
Reaching the “goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (ie: resurrection) is unobtainable while we still have breath in our lungs. In fact, it is only because Christ has made us his own that we even have a singular chance of reaching this goal. Our promised resurrection is the finish line. Meanwhile, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover before we cross that finish line.
Our resurrection is something that will be obtained eventually. In the here and now we are propelled forward by the goal of making “as it is in heaven” a reality in this moment. Because Christ has made us his own we are able to place a hope in the goal of our resurrection while remembering that resurrection and liberation are eternally intertwined.
Holy God, encourage us to keep our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds open to the calls of the needy. Remind us that we do not walk alone, nor do we only walk for ourselves. By the power of your Spirit may we remain a hopeful Advent people, on this day and forevermore.
Rev. Andy Spaulding
Associate Pastor for Campus Ministry – Bama UKirk
First Presbyterian Church (Tuscaloosa, AL)