No pain, no gain!  That was the mantra for a generation of  exercise adherents.  Whether it was the women in leotards and leg warmers in aerobics class or the men in short shorts and tube socks on the basketball court, the road to fitness was said to be paved in pain.

We don’t know what the Apostle Paul wore when he worked out but we do know that Paul’s formula for spiritual fitness was the opposite: no gain, no pain!  Since we are justified by faith (gain), we can boast in our hope and also in our suffering (pain.)

Today we celebrate the members of our family of faith who are full of days. Women and men who are a little ahead on the road which we all will walk.  Those who have discovered the truth of Paul’s teaching that our faith isn’t about us earning God’s love. Rather it’s about discovering over a lifetime of joy and sorrow God’s faithfulness in loving us in ALL                                circumstances.