On the homestretch... excited to reunite with loved ones we've missed while we were away. On the homestretch... looking forward to the time we will have to reflect back on all that we experienced while in Europe. On the homestretch... ready to be back in the familiar surroundings of home, our own beds, free bathrooms, and a language we can understand. On the homestretch... a place that, as Christians, we find ourselves every day. For from the moment we are born into God's family, we are on the homestretch, the homestretch to heaven.
Paul, in 2 Timothy 4:7, talks about the race we run as Christians, and it is no walk in the park. Paul says, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." Finishing the race with our faith intact is a fight. It takes patience and perseverance, two traits among many that we are not able to produce on our own. On our own, we are running a race we are neither equipped nor ready to finish. If there was one thing our choir was not ready for in coming to Europe, it was the weather. Like springtime was for us in Nebraska, the beginning to their summer here has been unseasonably cool. Rainy days and cloudy skies were a familiar sight to see out out our bus window. And although those days have a beauty all their own, after about a week of gray weather, we found ourselves waiting for the sun.
On those mornings we looked out the window and saw it peeking through the clouds, the excitement in the air was noticeable. Moods brightened and smiles widened. The sun lifted our spirits and gave us energy. It is the same way in the life of a Christian. We are here on earth, waiting for the Son. He is our light, our salvation. It is His message of salvation that we take to those stuck in the gray skies of sin. The light of the Gospel breaks through and gives abundant new life and immeasurable joy to a heart once trapped in the prison and shame of sin.
The effects of this beautiful message in the lives of God's children has certainly been visible on this tour. During concerts when we felt less than ready, days of long travel, and weariness that accompanies a schedule such as ours, it was the message of the Son that renewed our sense of purpose and brought joy back to our hearts. Night after night, as we shared the Gospel through our music and our words, we found the very words we sang comforting and touching us, just as we prayed they would our audiences.
Without the Gospel message, without our nightly concerts, without the bond we share as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we are just a group of college kids sightseeing through European countries. It is truly the greatest privilege in the world to carry the message of the Son to a world awaiting His return. During the past few weeks we have been reminded again and again of the presence of the Son in our lives, and the power of the Spirit to spread the news of that Son to a world in the darkness of sin. We are incredibly humbled and amazed by the work the Holy Spirit accomplishes despite our imperfect efforts. What an amazing blessing we have to serve our Lord with the musical abilities He has given us.
-J'nae Rempfer (Senior, Alto II)