There is a picture in my office that I have had since last century. It is a picture of Jeff Pierce. You probably have never heard of Jeff. He was a professional bicycle racer. He rode for the 7-Eleven team back in the late 1980s when they were the first American team to race in Europe. In the 1987 Tour de France, Jeff was a domestique, a rider whose principle task was to be a support for the team leaders: carry water bottles, protect the top riders from the ravages of wind, and at the end of the day to struggle across the finish line well after the leaders. Against all odds Jeff won the grand finale, the last stage in Paris on the Champs Elysees. A gendarme in the background of the photograph stares in disbelief. Jeff is alone. Crossing the finish line, arms raised in unbelieving triumph. He won against the greatest riders of his day. An American in Paris. I look at that picture and know that perfect moments are possible. Continue reading
Tag Archives: telios
Over the years I have often been asked about a passage in Matthew’s Gospel: “So be perfect,* just as your heavenly Father is perfect“. (Mt 5:48). Most people just wonder how in the world we could ever be perfect like God. Kind of a non-starter, so why try. Not only is it possible – it is commanded by Christ and empowered by his grace.
Be perfect, telios, the Greek word does not mean to be without sin, spot or blemish, but rather speaks of wholeness, a completeness, a certain end point, goal or destiny that is ours – in the end. In other words, to look to what God intends for us: our destiny, our divine calling – a project for this lifetime. A project that with the grace of God is ours in the here and now – and forever. A project that will reach “perfection” in heaven as we are then fully, wholly and completely what we were intended to be. Continue reading
“…be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect…” That seems like a tall order, trying to be perfect. And if you think of it as being without flaw, spot, or blemish, then you are correct. It is above our pay grade. But then again, “be perfect” does not seem like a suggestion. It appears it is a command from Jesus.
The word “perfect,” telios, is a Greek word which speaks of wholeness, a completeness, a certain end point, goal or destiny that is our calling. There is always a future element about it. “…be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Our destiny, our divine calling – a project for this lifetime. A project that with the grace of God is ours to work towards, even if its fulfillment is in the life to come. Continue reading