But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 (NRSV)
The Lord your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast. Deuteronomy 13:4 (NRSV)
Doug Wingert is from Arizona. Years ago, he served as a counselor for middle school students exploring Catalina Island off the California coast. His responsibilities included monitoring students as they participated in ocean-related studies as well as chaperoning some snorkeling adventures.
One of the amazing things about the waters surrounding the island is the abundance of brown kelp that grows tall and is in constant motion with the surge of waves. The seaweed is anchored to the ocean floor with special growths called holdfasts. By being the steady force that holds the kelp to the sea floor, holdfasts allow the kelp to stay rooted in storms and grow into forests that provide a place for other sea life to flourish.
In Hebrews 4:14, we are reminded that "since we have a a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess." Like a kelp forest, our faith can serve as our holdfast, anchoring us in storms. and when we hold on to Christ, we can create an environment where everyone can prosper.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to hold fast to your truth so we can withstand the storms of life and help others to flourish, in Jesus' name. Amen.