7 December 2007

Hebrews 11:1-7, 32-40

"Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight." (v.33-34)


The writer to the Hebrews recounts the many faithful people of God - those who never saw the promise of Jesus fulfilled, but remained true no matter what happened to them; a mix of situations from the miraculous to torture and death. This verse recounts the triumphs and acquisitions, yet the following verses recount difficulties and deprivations. Perhaps my text should have been the following verse?

Many of this week's readings have recounted the difficulties that God's people have at times faced. Noah may have been saved from the flood, but locked away on that ark with those animals for a year can hardly have been a party. They must have wondered whether they would ever see normal life again.

The disciples were given the promise of the second coming perhaps partly as a way for them to hold on to the promise, as Christ did not want his disciples to despair and give up. We see that immediately after his death there was temptation to.

We are each called to our task for the kingdom here on earth and to prepare it for the second coming. But we have to examine that call and ensure that we are not selective in how we work, but remain faithful to God's promises. Living a Christian life may not always be a bed of roses, but our faith is the key.

To Ponder

In the Christian life, who are your heroes? Who has inspired you by their faith?

Bible notes author

Helen Tyers

Helen Tyers is a Disabled Person who has a passion for understanding the message of the gospel and the scriptures in the context of the present not as part of our medieval past. The scriptures, along with the works of the early fathers and the Church through history should be embraced to help us understand the changing relationship we have with God and how God changes the response to us with the same message.