7 December 2007Hebrews 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
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.
In the Christian life, who are your heroes? Who has inspired you by their faith?