Passing the Torch

Date

Nov 3, 2018

Sermon Series

In the story of Moses and Joshua, a proper “passing of the baton” was crucial. If this wasn’t done correctly, then Israel could have been in danger of receiving their prize: Canaan. Would Moses realize that there was a better “runner” for the last leg of this trip? Would the people trust Joshua the way that they trusted Moses? Would Joshua know that the Lord was supporting his leadership the same way He supported Moses?

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Dear Downers Church Family:

Games of the XXIX Olympiad (Beijing, 2008) were hard to watch for USA track and field fans. It was the first time in Olympic history that the Americans went 0-for-6 in men’s and women’s sprints: 100, 200 and 400 relay. Some contribute this failure to the emergence of the Jamaican sprint teams led by Usain Bolt. But team mechanics were part of the problem, especially concerning the relays. That year both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relay teams were absent from the final race due to one problem: failure to pass the baton.

In the preliminary 4x100m relay race the USA men’s team was favored to make it to the finals. The first two legs went smoothly but the third exchange of the baton was where disaster for the relay team happened. “There was nothing,” stated Tyson Gay. Gay said he felt the baton, which was held by the third runner Darvis Patton, but when he closed his hand the baton was not in it. The baton, instead, bounced off of the rain-slickened track. A dropped baton was immediate disqualification.

The women’s team also seemed a favorite to make it to the finals. And like the men, the flub happened during the final exchange. The baton could not make it from Torri Edwards to Lauryn Williams. After the baton fell, Edwards covered her face with her hands while Williams raced back to the baton, picked it up and finished the race. But the damage had been done. The dropped baton meant automatic disqualification.

In the story of Moses and Joshua, a proper “passing of the baton” was crucial. If this wasn’t done correctly, then Israel could have been in danger of receiving their prize: Canaan. Would Moses realize that there was a better “runner” for the last leg of this trip? Would the people trust Joshua the way that they trusted Moses? Would Joshua know that the Lord was supporting his leadership the same way He supported Moses? More than a medal was at stake.

Pastor Kent

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