take hold

2024 Theme

After Aslan resurrects in the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia, he tells the children, "We have a long journey to go. You must ride on me." The narrator continues:
That ride was perhaps the most wonderful thing that happened to them in Narnia. Have you ever had a gallop on a horse? Think of that; and then take away the heavy noise of the hoofs and imagine instead the almost noiseless padding of the great paws. Then imagine the soft roughness of golden fur, and the mane flying back in the wind. And then imagine you are going about twice as fast as the fastest racehorse. But this is a mount that doesn’t need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, never hesitating, threading his way with perfect skill between tree trunks, jumping over bush and briar and the smaller streams, wading the larger, swimming the largest of all.
This is an image of our faith journey as believers. As we grab on and take hold of Jesus, he mounts up on wings and takes us on the adventure of our lives — a journey into a life of holiness.
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly equate holiness with stuffy morality. Holy people, we think, are dull, drab, and lifeless. But this could not be further from the truth.
The Hebrew word for holy means "to be set apart." When objects like bowls and utensils were declared holy, it doesn't mean that they were somehow moral; no, it meant that they were set apart for the use of God. Being used for the eternal purposes of God — what a profound grace and privilege!
When Peter calls followers of Jesus a holy nation, he is declaring that we are a people set apart for the purposes of God and His glorious Kingdom. "God's special possession," he calls us. And as his cherished and chosen people, he takes us on a journey from darkness into his marvelous and wonderful light — the journey of discipleship.
This journey of discipleship is a life-long venture on the frontier of faith. Growing in holiness doesn't lead to a diminished life. Not in the least! Deepening holiness leads, instead, to a life overflowing with a fullness that only God can give. As we hold onto Jesus through this life, we become ever more filled with the goodness, power, and beauty of God. With the passing of each day, the Spirit will pulsate through us in increasing measure, and we will see His dynamic presence working in and through us. And at the intersection of our lives and the Spirit's movement, there we will experience life as it was meant to be lived — a life filled with God's provision, direction, and empowerment.
This is a life set apart for God. Together, let us hold onto Jesus as he takes us deeper into a life of holiness, and may we experience the meaning, joy, and love of Christ at its center.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
-1 Peter 2:9-10