For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. (2 Tim 4:6-8)
Such a beautiful passage from the Scriptures. The words perfectly describe the life of Saint Paul, a life spent in the service of the gospel, a life that has been filled with hardship and privations, but a life well-lived. Oh that all of us would be able to say: “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” Now at near the end of his life the aged apostle awaits the “crown of righteousness.” I have always loved the pictorial book Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham & Craig Marberry. Who says we have to wait for our crown? In anticipation, we can wear one right now!