“Passing the Baton” | Part IV of the Olympics sermon series

We’re into the final week of the Olympics. The Paralympics begin in less than three weeks, but this is our final week to reflect upon what the games teach us about life and faith.

In this final week I invite us to reflect upon relay races. There are swimming relays, but I’m particularly interested in the track and field relays.

On the track, each runner carries a “baton” along his/her section of the race. Before the next runner in the relay can begin, he/she has to receive the baton from his/her teammate. The exchange is critical and it’s tricky. Runners want to pass the baton as quickly as possible so as not to waste time. But if they drop it, their team is out of the race. To make it more complicated, there is only a limited distance along the track where you can exchange the baton. Teams practice exchanging the baton over and over.

We have a similar exchange in the Christian faith. It comes from what we call the “Great Commission.” In the Resurrected Christ’s final encounter with his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew, he tells them, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).”

In the Great Commissions Jesus gives the church it’s mission. Our job is to form faithful disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This week, I want us to think about how we do that. How do our ministries at Oak Hill form strong, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ?

I believe that the Great Commission must shape everything we do at Oak Hill – our worship and fellowship gatherings; how we serve our community and how we treat one another. It’s how we pass the Christian faith to others, including people of each and every generation.

Blessings,
Pastor Stephen