It would be easy for me to write about the new year being a time for new resolutions, new beginnings and new gym memberships; but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to tell you to begin 2015 with a new exercise programme that will have fizzled out by mid-February (at the latest). I don’t want to start this shiny new January telling you to watch less television (there’s nothing on anyway). I don’t even want to tell you that this is a brilliant opportunity to resolve to spend more time reading your Bible every day (even though it is). I want to start this shiny new January encouraging you to carry on.

Hebrews 12 v1-3 says that we have to run with endurance the race set out before us. We have to keep going. We need to get on with it. When it’s not easy and when we’re tired of running, we have to keep going. When we don’t feel like it and we’d rather not bother, we HAVE to keep going. When it feels like nothing is going right and no one is on our side, we HAVE TO KEEP GOING.

And while we’re running, while we’re fixing our eyes on Jesus and running, we need to remember to carry on keeping each other gong too. 1 Thessalonians 5 v11 says that we have to encourage each other and build each other up, just as we are doing. It doesn’t tell us that this needs to be a new thing, but that it’s something else we need to carry on doing. We need to carry on being a church who encourages each other, who builds each other up and who helps each other when we’re tired of running.

John Bingham, an American marathon runner said, ‘believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything that you want to do. Don’t let worn out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.’ So together, at the start of 2015 – let us run faster.