Next was a brief Bible study session at each of the 8-person tables in the convention hall. We were asked to read Hebrews 12:1-2, from whence came the theme of the Convention:
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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right had of the throne of God.
With the following study questions:
- How are we in a race?
- What race is the Diocese of Southern Ohio in?
- What might it mean to put our sins to one side so they don’t weigh us down?
- How is Jesus “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”?
- What is the joy set before us?
The St. Paul’s table came up with several possible answers to what kind of race we’re in, but we agreed that Jack Koepke’s answer was perhaps the most descriptive: The race is the future, with the finish line being Jesus. The problem we’re having in running the race is that our “eyes”—our beings—are facing and focused on the past, while we’re fast-walking (backward) toward to future. We keep focused on the past because it’s comfortable and familiar, but one can see how walking backward might make a race more difficult. What we need to do is turn around toward the finish line and move swiftly in the direction we’re racing toward.