Hitting the Mark

Thursday night in the spring is 3D archery night. Tim Bates and I are partners so we always shoot together and try to help each other shoot the best that we can. There is the aspect of actual shooting form, but there is also the other half of figuring out yardage, so often two heads are better than one.

This past Thursday we were “on” and shooting very well. We came up to a target that looked to be about 30 yards away and I was up to shoot first. I nailed it right in the sweet spot! I told Tim that it was indeed 30 yards away and told him to “shoot for my arrow.” So that’s what he did. When he shot we heard arrows hitting. That’s not uncommon because from the force of them landing they shutter and if they’re close often they’ll slap each other.

But when we walked up to the target this is what we saw:


And here’s a close-up:


Now I have several arrows displayed in my garage that are called “robin hoods.” Those are arrows that hit another arrow directly. Usually they mushroom the arrow out and only go in a little ways. Tim’s arrow being narrower than my arrow and being directly on target literally went totally inside my arrow.

Despite the fact that it totally ruined two perfectly good arrows it immediately created this blog post. You see, there is this concept in the Bible that sin is “missing the mark.” It is literally tied to the Greek word ἁμαρτάνω. If you don’t read Greek, here you go:

Strong’s Concordance

hamartanó: to miss the mark, do wrong, sin

Original Word: ἁμαρτάνω

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: hamartanó

Phonetic Spelling: (ham-ar-tan’-o)

Short Definition: I sin

Definition: originally: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin, commit a sin (against God); sometimes the idea of sinning against a fellow-creature is present.

Romans 3 puts it this way:

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24 bold and italic added)

It’s as if I stepped up to the line, judged the distance wrong, shot my arrow and it landed in the dirt in front of the target. Believe me, it’s happened! On my 3D archery scorecard that’s a zero! However, in 3D archery there’s room for some error. If you hit the X ring (or could we say “the mark”?) you get 11 points. If you get in the sweet spot you get 10 points. In the kill zone you get 8 points, but if you hit any part of the target you get 5 points. I mean, you can hit it’s ear and still get 5 points. On God’s scorecard there’s only hitting the mark or missing the mark and missing the mark is way, way worse than a zero on a scorecard! Romans 3 just stated that we have ALL missed the mark! But it also goes on to state the there is grace and redemption through Jesus Christ.

When Jesus told the very familiar parable of the prodigal son, he shared about that wonderful grace. The son comes home telling his father that he “hamartano.” He “missed the mark.” I’d say that was a good description. And what was the father’s response? “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:22-24)

Through Jesus we hit the mark!



About gregarnett

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:10) I've been told that the above verse comes to mind when people think of me. I strive to use all of my gifts to God's glory in all the ways He's given me to serve. I serve him in my day job as a Director of Christian Education. I currently serve St. Paul Lutheran Church in Caro, Michigan. At St. Paul I am responsible for the ministry to and with youth, grades sixth-college, and the educational ministries of the congregation. I also lead the contemporary band, organize mission trips and Servant Events. Besides my day job I also am an entrepreneur that runs an Etsy online shop. Basically I make unique items out of wood and broken hockey sticks. You can find my Etsy shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/manland I have been married to Cathy since 1987. My grandpa joked on his 50th wedding anniversary: "that's a long time to be married to one woman!" They made it to 64 years, so Cathy and I are just starting! Together we have three children: Nathan, Ben and Emily. I like to play guitar, bass guitar, cigar box guitar and the djembe. I also enjoy woodworking, hunting, gardening, backpacking and participating in sports. Racing triathlons is my current sporting passion and mid-life crisis buster.
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