August 8, 2010

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-12 The eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews begins with a definition of faith: The King James Bible translates it this way: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The New International Version says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase “The Message” puts it like this: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” At our church membership class two weeks ago, I asked those present to think about what it might mean to be a person of faith. I asked them to think about what the characteristics of a person of faith might be… and these were some of the answers: hope, trust, generosity, kindness, commitment, steadfastness, humility, patience, joy. But before I asked them to define faith, I invited them to think of a person they know whom they think of as a person of faith. Maybe someone in their life today, maybe someone they once knew, maybe someone they don’t even know personally, but who serves as an example of faith for them. That’s what the author of Hebrews does as she tries to explain to the Christians of her day what it means to live in faith and trust in God. She begins … Read more »