Today's Lectionary Text
Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith. By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible. By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice to God than Cain, which showed that he was righteous, since God gave approval to him for his gift. Though he died, he’s still speaking through faith. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he didn’t see death, and he wasn’t found because God took him up. He was given approval for having pleased God before he was taken up. It’s impossible to please God without faith because the one who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards people who try to find him. By faith Noah responded with godly fear when he was warned about events he hadn’t seen yet. He built an ark to deliver his household. With his faith, he criticized the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes from faith.
I love science. I’m just don’t always understand it.
One of my absolute favorite parts about science classes in high school and college was when we got to look through microscopes. A microscopic world came into clear view. Tiny specs invisible to the naked eye suddenly vibrantly appeared thanks to the technology.
Thanks to science, we understand so much more of our world today than we did 100 years ago. But we can’t see or understand everything. For some matters in this world, we have to have faith.
The writer of the book of Hebrews understood this point and wanted to help the audience understand it as well. In today’s passage, we get a clear, concise definition of faith: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, faith is about things we want to be true but that we can’t definitively prove. And yet we believe those things anyway.
One example from today’s text is the story of Noah. He built an enormous boat in the middle of dry land. People around him must have mocked him. But scripture tells us Noah continued about his work until the time when rains started to fall, and water swallowed the earth.
Noah had to have tremendous faith. As he built the ark, he could not have known for certain that such an unprecedented weather event would take place. Yet, he kept building.
We likely will never be asked to do something like build an ark. I think I would have failed! What faith Noah must have had!
But we are expected to live out our faith each day by showing love for others, by respecting God’s creation, by building a stronger relationship with God, and by living the kind of life Jesus modeled for us all.
— Todd Seifert, director of communications
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, we know we don’t always see how You act behind the scenes. We ask that You open our minds and hearts to visions and instruction so that we may be all that You need to help others in this hurting world. In the name of the Great Healer and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
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