By faith…by faith….by faith. These words echo through today’s epistle like a heartbeat. Faced with challenges, faced with difficult circumstances, the thing all these heroes have in common is that they trusted in God, stepping out in faith often against the odds. They acted in faith, and by faith. What then is this faith, where do we get it, and how do we live it? Is faith in fact something only some people have and others miss out on? Is it something only these ancients had, and is no longer relevant for us here in this time in our own personal circumstances. Over the years, many friends have suggested that I’m just lucky to have faith, as if ‘faith’ was somehow dropped on me like fairy dust at my birth.
But that’s not how Scripture presents faith. Despite living in another long distant culture, these superheroes faced the same choices we do; to actually risk trusting God for all our circumstances, or to fix it all ourselves. Faith doesn’t have anything to do with luck or good fortune. Faith is hard work. In every new situation, in every new challenge, we have to choose to have faith, and it doesn’t matter how many times I do it, it doesn’t get any easier. In this faith chapter of superheroes, we read that faith is ‘the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’. This kind of hope is not just wishful thinking. It dares to believe that God will do what God has promised, even against the odds, and even though we can’t see the future.
Although we don’t know who wrote the epistle to the Hebrews, we see that it was written to a people who were at the point of giving up, people who were weary of hanging on and not seeing any answers. The message to them here, and the message to us today, is don’t give up, have faith, trust. Jesus Christ is the one in whom we can hope. Jesus Christ is the one in whom we can reliably place our trust, because Jesus Christ is faithful. You can’t see the future, but Jesus Christ is the future and he is faithful. These superheroes were not perfect people, they often failed, and Scripture lets us know all their flaws. But in the end, they were willing to step out into the unknown, in situations that could very easily have gone pear-shaped, simply because God called them. That’s why they are listed in this superhero chapter and that’s why they are our example today.
In peace, Mother Lynda
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:32-40