During my high school years, I used to be actively involved in athletics and competed in several inter-school competitions. One of the events that our school team used to arduously practice for, was the relay race in which the starter sprinters ran till they passed the baton over to the next on track, until it reached the last one (anchor) in the relay race lineup that completed the race. I often used to run the anchor position.
In order for the relay team to win, there was one requirement, the anchor had to be holding the baton in his/her hand when the tape was cut. It was not the one who first cut the tape that won the race, but it was the one who cut the tape, holding the baton in hand. Holding on to the baton was what mattered. Additionally, it was not the anchor alone who won the race, but the whole team that received the honor and prize.
Just as it was important for each participant in a relay race to hold on to the baton, when it is in their possession and pass it on to the next one in the track, so also in our Christian race, we must hold on to the Gospel baton (i.e., keep the faith) and pass it on to our successors (our children being one in that lineup among many other) so that collectively we can win in achieving the goal of reconciling man to God, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The God of the universe passed the Gospel of Salvation baton to His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who passed this Gospel baton to us, when He ascended into Heaven and till our time on earth is done or till He returns to take us, who believe in Him, to be with Him for eternity, we must continue to hold on to the Gospel baton (keep the faith) and pass it on (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Let us live in such a manner so that each of us will be able to say, when it is God’s appointed time, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7).
2 Corinthian 5:18-20 (KJV)
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; [God passed the baton to Christ]
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [Christ has passed the baton to us]
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [We must pass the baton to others]