Monday, January 05, 2009

Hebrews 11:32-12:2

Faith… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of a great Cloud of Witnesses. Their continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

I’m sure you recognize these words as the introduction to Star Trek. But they could also well be a summary of today’s reading from Hebrews, and a summary of our mission as people of faith as well.

I could be wrong, but it strikes me that Christianity has become an increasingly rational enterprise in recent years. Sermons are often recommendations on how to live based more on psychology than the radical, supernatural power of God. Churches have more and more followed modern business, marketing, and entertainment practices rather than seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Christians emphasize studying the Bible but neglect prayer, a bold exercise in faith if there ever was one.

What would it mean for you to live by faith like the people described in these verses? What would it mean for me?

What a sacrifices would we make if we believed by faith there really was something better waiting for us ahead? In what ways would we be willing to suffer if by faith we believed our suffering achieved a great purpose? What great works would we do if we were convinced by faith that God wants us to do them?

Frankly, I need to do a far better job of living by faith. Perhaps you do too. So let’s take the plunge. Let’s get a little, or maybe a even a lot, crazy. Let’s be audacious. Let’s refuse to settle for the ordinary, for life as we’ve known it, and—by faith—go where no one has gone before.

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