Mini Sermon/teaching

Erm messed this up and cant delete sorry image



  • image Nope sorry when i cut and paste from word it just comes up with gobbledy gook.

  • Try pasting into Notepad first?  Don't know if that solves the span issues.

  • Jesus the long distance athlete
    What an exciting year 2012 is panning out to be. We have the European football championships where the whole country expects England to win it, but we fail miserably and blame everything except the players. We have the Olympics being held in London and various parts of the UK and then the Paralympics. However unlike the football we happen to have some very talented athletes who are in for a good shout of some medals. Especially the cyclist’s, swimmers, rowers and just about anything else that goes on water.
    I like to think of myself as a long distance athlete. I have run quite a few long distance runs over all kinds of terrain, recently completing a really tough cross country course, ‘The black death run’. Included in these many daft things I’ve been stupid enough to run and walk large swathes of the southwest coastal path, which happens to be very pretty but a bit taxing on the old thighs and feet. Cycling is my new means of manpower and I am really enjoying the freedom it provides. I have achieved some mini triumphs like getting to the top of Ham Hill after cycling 15 miles. I didn’t take the views in on the way up, but coming down the other side was much more enjoyable.
    Recently however I gave some thought to the early long distance athletes, the first people to be documented for achieving amazing feats of stamina and endurance.
    The first person to spring to mind was Pheidippides, the supposed creator of the modern day Marathon. Pheidippides, an Athenian, was sent to Sparta to ask for assistance when the Persians landed in Marathon, Greece. He covered 150 miles in 2 days. Then if that wasn’t enough, he ran from the battlefield in Marathon back to Athens to bring the good news of victory, another 26 miles. He managed to muster the words ‘We have won’ then keeled over and died.
    This was quite something, Pheidippides done all this in not much more than a toga and sandals. In the 21st century I wear moisture wicking material that keeps me cool when it’s hot and hot when its cold. I also have state of the art trainers that support my ankles and make sure I do not injure myself. The furthest I have worn sandals is probably down to the local shop, stubbing my toes and causing blisters to my feet. The thought of covering 176 miles in sandals I have to say is very unappealing!
    But why did he do it? Pheidippides was known as a ‘Day Runner’, similar to a courier today. His message was good news and he sacrificed himself to deliver it.
    It didn’t take long to see the similarities with Jesus. However surely Jesus was no long distance athlete? Well think again. He was the original Ultra Marathon man, and as we are about to see he made Pheidippides’ run look like a stroll in the park.
    We all know Jesus was born on the road. Mary and Joseph left Nazareth and took the dusty road to Bethlehem, a walk of 70 miles if they took the flattest easiest route through the Jordon valley. With a heavily pregnant Mary this would have taken them both 3 days. They would have known the route very well as each year they would have shuffled along the track to Jerusalem, a mere 67 Miles from Nazareth, to attend Passover and for many other reasons. So Jesus was even born to parents who were young fit and crossed many miles of difficult terrain regularly. But this was the norm at the time Jesus was born.  A lot of people travelled all over the Middle East selling goods, looking for work or being part of a nomad community. All this was done by sandal power and if you were lucky you might have a donkey to take the weight of your spices, rugs, or anything else you have to sell.
    Jesus was born into a time with much upheaval. Jesus and his new family, depending who you believe, had to cross over the border into Egypt to prot

  • protect themselves from Herod. The first epic journey that Jesus perhaps would have remembered was the 400-mile trek back to Nazareth. This would have been very hot and hard work, it would be the same as if you or I walked from Yeovil to Glasgow. Without a day off and walking 12 hours a day, it would have taken Jesus, Mary and Joseph 2 weeks to complete.
    During Jesus’ childhood he would have accompanied Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Jerusalem on many occasions, perhaps even three times a year! For Passover or to pay taxes or attend many other festivities. This was good training for what he would eventually end up doing.
    Jesus then disappears off the radar for many years. A few theories are banded about, some probable and some not so. Did Jesus visit India? Many people like to think so. If he did he would have completed a 5000 mile round trip if he managed to walk it. 140 days it would have taken him. Today I’m told to change my running shoes every 500 miles to prevent injury, so on the same journey I would need 10 pairs of shoes! However if Jesus had the sandals mentioned in Deut 29:5 he would never would have worried about it.
    Did those feet in ancient times walk upon England’s Mountains green? If they did Jesus would have walked from Nazareth to Calais in roughly 59 days covering just over 2000 miles. He would then have stopped at the English Channel, looking across the straights of Dover, 21 miles of sea. Being Jesus he would have walked across to Dover in 7 hours.
    All fun and games aside, I like to think Jesus did travel about getting to know people. Helping them, healing and talking with them. Learning a lot about himself and building up the tools he would eventually need. During this time he would have covered vast areas of empty land and spending a lot of time by himself on these long trips. By experience I would think it was at these times Jesus would have felt closer to the God than he would at many times during his life.
    Then Jesus was back! 30 years old, good age for a long distance athlete. He didn’t hang about. From Nazareth he disappeared into the wilderness of Judea where he came across John The Baptist and was baptised. He was also tempted by the devil, but the devil couldn’t keep up with him as he had been training all his life and was pretty nifty on his feet. ‘He went to Galilee and was in Capernaum and Cana’. (John 1:19-28) This would be a round trip of 240 Miles. From here he visited  Jerusalem and returned. (John 2:13 onwards) Racking up another 240 miles. He then goes back to Jerusalem and returns (John 5:1-47). Covering another 240 Miles. He then decides to show his face at the ‘Feast Of Booths’ on go the sandals and he covers another 240 miles. (John 7:2) As Jesus enjoyed his feasts, mainly to keep up the energy of all his epic trips, he returned to Jerusalem for the ‘Feast of Dedication’. 240 more miles added to the clock. Then as we all know Jesus does this trip one more time and this time he has a one-way ticket. He stomped along the same path he had done many times before. I expect he remembered the time he spent with his family as a boy along the same road and the people he would have met.
     His last steps were taken through the streets of Jerusalem carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, dragging a wooden cross. All the miles he covered this last mile was his hardest by far. He fell three times but he got up and carried on, he was hurting, injured, people were shouting at him. He was punched and kicked and spat on. But he still managed to get the finishing line.
     Jesus completed during his 3-year ministry, many other epic journeys. Starting off with a short one by Jesus’ standards. A 60 mile round trip from Capernaum to Cana and back down to Nazareth (John 2:1-11) He also p

  • He also popped to Nain then back to Capernaum, about 70 miles in all. There is a very long trip by Jesus as he leaves from Capernaum and goes north up into Phoenicia to the cities of Tyre and Sidon (present day Lebanon). Then he loops back south around the Sea of Galilee and into the area of Decapolis and back north to Capernaum. Depending on which way Jesus got to Tyre and Sidon, the mileage would be about 85 miles to Capernaum. Then count about 120 miles back around the Sea of Galilee to Decapolis then back to Capernaum would be about 50 miles. (Mark 7:24-37 and Matt. 15:21-39) On this one trip Jesus walked about 255 miles!
    As we know he had a lot to cram into his 3-year ministry, so when he got back from up North he went straight to Magadala then onto Caesarea Philippi. This would have been roughly 100 miles in all. (Matt 16:13-28)
    Once back, Jesus goes out with a team of disciples, who managed to keep up with him. He took them with him as he was about to do a spot of mountaineering and would need back up if anything were to go wrong. . He left for mount Tabor where he was transfigured and returned. Ticking off another 60 miles. (Matt 17:1-13)
    There were many other trips of shorter distance that I have not mentioned. When visiting certain areas he undoubtedly travelled many miles in the locale.
    The total distance covered in Jesus’ 3-year ministry was roughly 3100 miles.
    Total miles travelled whilst Jesus was on earth, 21000 miles. Conservative estimates suggest Jesus in his lifetime would have covered 18000 just going from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back!
    This would mean Jesus spent 1076 days on the road, nearly 3 years! Covering on average 20miles a day, everyday of his life. The circumference of earth is nearly 25000 miles; it’s quite possible Jesus covered this if we knew what he got up to in his time not accounted for.
    After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the baton was passed to his disciples, especially Paul who lived up to Jesus’ adventures with his own. Christianity then spread like fire by people carrying the message far and wide via sandal power, usually at much risk to their own lives.

  • So there we have it, Jesus was the original long distance athlete, powered by vegetables, lentils, wheat, wine, fish and milk. Wearing sandals and a robe. He didn’t need training schedules, cross training or isotonic drinks. God powered him like he does us, however I think I will stick to my comfy trainers

    Wish I hadn't of bothered now lol Hopefully you get the jist of it

    Thanks badly drawn bloke it worked from notepad



  • Are you a vicar or are you an evangelical athlete trying to get your flock to run an ultra?

  • This is aimed not at adults and its written as kinda notes. When I do a sermon I remember most of it so I scribble down these notes blah blah

  • Haha im a trainee vicar that enjoys running. I dont think with the congregation who has the average age of 150 will be doing very many ultras. ALthough I wouldnt put it past some of them!

  • Jesus walked alot! image

  • Lol, well we don't know he may have ran a bit too. image Actual fact theres a bloke who lives near me looks bit like Jesus and he runs. Does that count?

  • Do you want a crit????


    (although it may be harsh as I am a born again atheist having lost my faith a good few years ago now - but I did used to stand around on street corners frightening folks by asking them if they would let Jesus into their lives)

  • Say what you will. Trust me it was only done for fun as its something that was whizzing around my brain. Baring in mind im CofE so were pretty lame most of the time image

  • Ah but I bet you he beat you across the water?image

  • So you live around the corner from an Arabian chap who runs, or a aucasian guy with a beard who runs?image

  • Lol at the water remark image

  • awww now don't say that - Presbeterians are my favourites. image (well to be fair Cof S is my fav).


    If you are going to give this as a sermon - what is the life lesson?


    I am all in favour of religion - for other folks - but I think sermons should be more than stories - i.e. perseverence in the face of persecution, belief in one's own goals despite doubters all around. If you can take 'god' out of the story and there is still a good lesson to be learned then I would say that it is an excellent sermon. I realise that you probably don't want to take god out of the equation - but I always think that if there is a good moral lesson to be learned - it applies to everyone religious and non-religious alike and the really 'bad' bit of religion are the bits where the ONLY justification is 'but god said....'


    Personally I think the fact that his disciples picked up the baton and kept going has nothing much to do with god and a lot to do with the politics of the time - but hey ho that's why I am an atheist.


  • Gota watch what I say lol A White guy with a beard that runs. Although technically Jesus was Jewish

  • He has been spotted doing the Tokyo marathon.



  • Did Jesus use a Garmin to measure his distances?


    Did he wear an iPod?

    What is the church's position on these issues? .

  • Hi Gym Addict, I completely agree with you. Its not a sermon Par se. If it were I'd be drumming home the life lesson and why its relevent. but this is for Messy Church. Where parents who do not goto church bring kids along etc. I dont want to get all hellfire and brimstone on their ass. But its just good fun really and hopefully not bore them too much. With the kids we have a 5 minute talk instead. But I agree with your observations. Sure you dont wanna come back to the 'light side' image

  • True - although the Jewish people of the region don't look European.  Robert Powell has a lot to answer for.

  • Kryton that is awesome! Thanks for thatimage

    Well Jesus didnt use garmin as his dad gave him the directions as he was pretty good at that kind of thing.

    And the Anglican community fully believe Jesus had an Ipod, but it was only a shuffle as he had nowhere to keep a touch

  • Badly drawn bloke, You are indeed correct. If truth be known Jesus would have had darker skin and not very european. But then you go to an african church and hes black you go to chinese church and he looks chinese image

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