John 20:3-5

I’ve never been what one might call “athletic.” I was a guaranteed last pick in playground kickball. I usually passed the Presidential Physical Fitness Test in school, but only barely. At my tennis final in college, my coach looked at me and said, “So, maybe tennis isn’t your game.”

Consequently, I’ve always been a little annoyed by this account of the footrace between Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, who was probably John. I know the scholarly explanation is that the race was the Gospel writer’s attempt to pay homage to both the Pauline church and the Johannine community that formed in the first century, but I find that explanation a little like most sports commentary: what’s the point?

Maybe John got a head start. Maybe Peter had a rock in his sandal. Maybe John pulled a hamstring when he got to the tomb and that’s why Peter stumbled in first. There are always extenuating circumstances.

All I know is this: both of their hearts were racing. Both of them were trembling. Neither of them could believe this was happening. And something tells me that both of them were glad they weren’t there alone.


Do you remember a time when faith felt more like a competition, when checking the boxes that you read your Bible and brought your tithe seemed like the most important thing? What changed that perspective for you?


I am so grateful, O God, that you don’t measure who runs to you the fastest. All you care about is that we get one another to your side and that we hold one another up when we get there. Amen.

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