The marathon of good news


In 490 B.C., the Athenians won an important battle against the Persians, in a plain near the Greek town of Marathon, about 40 miles from Athens. If the battle against the Persians was lost, the Greek were ready to avoid Athens falling into enemy hands. If good news was not received before 24 hrs, the men, women and children waiting would kill their children and commit suicide.

As the battle was delayed, the Greek General Miltiades sent a messenger, a soldier called Filipides to run that long distance to carry the good news to the people of Athens. When he arrived, he managed to say “Victory” before he died, as legend has it. Even with variants of this story, the reality of this message is the same. Good news is meant to be communicated!

The word “Marathon”, then, became synonymous with “a race of resistence”, “A long and intense activity”.The Olympic Games, which began in 1896, wanted to celebrate this historic event. The winner of the first marathon, from the town of Marathon to the Olympic Stadium of Athens, was the Greek Spyridon Louis.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV) says: “…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…”

Life is like a long and intense marathon. But we can be bearers of good news. We can share the message of peace, encouragement, and hope to the people around us.

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