A few years ago my family went to see my sister-in-law, Sara, run the Newport marathon. She was one of several thousand people running the 26 & a bit miles. We left Niki & Anna waiting near the finish line & myself & Tim walked back down the course looking for Sara. Every runner had their name & number so as they ran past us we were able to shout out encouragement using their name. Some acknowledged our shouts of encouragement, others had head phones in so didn’t hear our shouts & others were in so much pain & anguish as they neared the end of the marathon that they kept their heads down & kept plodding on .

Eventually we found Sara & were able to run / walk along sideher & encourage her as she neared the end of the marathon.

It’s been nearly a year now since we went into the 1st Lockdown, a year since we were able to join together freely singing our songs of praise & able to sit next to our brothers & sisters. We’re nearly at the end of this remarkable journey, the end is nearly in sight, our marathon is nearly over. So I want to give you all a clap & shout out some encouraging words to you near the finish line ,we’re nearly there, keep going!

Hebrews 12.1 speaks of us running the race with perseverance having thrown off everything that hinders & sin that entangles us. A marathon is easier to run wearing running shoes & sports clothes, I’ve not seen anyone trying to run a marathon in wellington boots & a thick overcoat (unless they are raising money for charity). Let us throw off the sin that entangles us.

Let us all encourage each other as we run the race set before us.

Stephen Freemantle

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