Ahead of Us a Race to Run

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

To be sure, baptism provides the assurance “that God, by grace, has forgiven our sins because of Christ’s blood poured out for us in his sacrifice on the cross” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70). But it also involves the calling that “more and more we become dead to sin and live holy and blameless lives” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, 
Question and Answer 70).


“Christ places baptism in the world as a seal of God’s covenant people, placing them in ministry” (Our Song of Hope, stanza 18). Consequently, “The Spirit calls all members to embrace God’s mission” (Our World Belong to God, paragraph 41). Our vocation is broad because Christ is Lord over all: “To follow this Lord is to serve him wherever we are without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world” (Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 43). Our identity thus determines our vocation.


Ahead of Us a Race to Run


Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
who for the sake of the joy that was set before him
endured the cross, disregarding its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself
from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
—Hebrews 12:1-3, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Petitionary Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, we have a race to run,
so go ahead of us to lead us.
We will be vulnerable on the way,
so go behind us to guard us.
We will grow weary and leaden,
so go beneath us to support us.
We will feel alone,
so go beside us to befriend us. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Ahead of Us a Race to Run

Tune Information

F Major

Ahead of Us a Race to Run

Hymn Story/Background

This combination of text and tune may bring a smile to those who know the original text for which this tune was composed. The original refrain was: “On Christ, the solid rock, I stand.” But in this text, we are encourage to run! Martin Leckebusch took one of the Apostle Paul’s favorite images of running a race and wove it into this text based on Philippians 3:12-14. The words “running” and “race” are not included in those particular verses, but are very much in tune with Paul’s encouragements to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
— Emily Brink

The Sunday school hymn writer William B. Bradbury composed SOLID ROCK in 1863 for Edward Mote's "My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less." The tune name derives from that song's refrain: "On Christ, the solid rock, I stand…” Bradbury published SOLID ROCK in his 1864 children's collection The Golden Censor. 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Martin Leckebusch (b. Leicester, England, 1962) was educated at Oriel College before going on to study Mathematics at Oxford and Numerical Analysis at Brunel University. He and his wife, Jane, have four daughters; their second child, a son, died in 1995. The family live in Gloucester and belong to a Baptist church.
Martin’s work in hymnody over the past twenty-five years has resulted in almost 400 hymn texts, of which around half have so far been published by Kevin Mayhew. These include the ever-popular More than Words and Songs of God’s People – books which have cemented his status as a talented and accomplished hymn writer.
Martin is keen to see the church equipped for Christian living, and believes that well-crafted and wisely-used contemporary hymns and songs have a vital role to play in that process.
— Kevin Mayhew Publishing (http://www.kevinmayhew.com/)

Composer Information

William B. Bradbury (b. York, ME, 1816; d. Montclair, NJ, 1868) came from a musical family who encouraged him from an early age to learn to play various musical instruments. In 1830 his family moved to Boston. There he studied singing with Lowell Mason and sang in Mason's Bowdoin Street Church choir. In 1841 Bradbury moved to Brooklyn, New York, and became the organist at the Baptist Tabernacle in New York City. He organized children's singing classes, which developed into annual singing festivals and stimulated the teaching of music in the New York public schools. In 1854 William joined his brother Edward and a German piano maker to begin a piano firm, which became the Bradbury Piano Company. Bradbury wrote or edited sixty collections of popular music and edited and published numerous song books, including The Psalmodist (1844) and Golden Shower of Sunday School Melodies (1862). He is sometimes known as "the father of Sunday school hymnody."
— Bert Polman

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