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Faith & HopeLessons in faith during uncertain times...

Hebrews 11 & 12

"What then is faith? It is what gives assurance to our hopes; it is what gives conviction about things we can't see. It is what the men and women of old were famous for. It is by faith that we understand that the worlds were formed by God's word; in other words that the visible world was not made from visible things."  
So begins Ch 11 of the Book of Hebrews.

Faith for Hebrews is always closely linked to hope.  
Faith is looking at God and trusting him for everything,
while hope is looking at the future and trusting God for it.


The Teaching Team have chosen to base the Autumn 2020 teaching series on a theme. The Team were drawn to themes such as faith, trust in God, and God's covenants or promises; themes that explore how and why we can trust in God seem appropriate for equipping us for living in the midst of a global pandemic. We also discussed how we could use 'story' and root our teaching in the accounts of Biblical characters who trusted in God in the midst of crises.

And so, we thought that Hebrews 11 & 12 would be a good launchpad for a series based around a theme of faith and have worked up a programme of 10 sermons and speakers that takeus up to the start of Advent. We have also left a few slots freefor ad hoc topics that the Elders might want to introduce as appropriate.

Tom Wright in his book 'Hebrews for Everyone' says this:

"Hebrews has now reached a plateau from which there is an excellent view of those who have gone on before. Looking at them, the readers can discover for themselves what is up ahead, what they will need to cope with it, and the fact that when they get there themselves there will be a great welcome.

The ('asset') which will be all important in their onward journey is faith; the journey will take them all the way to the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem; and the great company that has gone on ahead in the long list of heroes and heroines of the faith…

Hebrews 11 thus offers two things which go together: on the one hand, a description of 'faith' itself….; on the other hand, a brief history of God's people, particularly the key figures in the early period, and especially Abraham and Moses. The story then continues in the next chapter, coming all the way to the writer's own time: it reaches its climax with Jesus in 12.2, and then urges the readers to live within the story for themselves (12.4-17), before declaring what the goal of the journey is (12:18-24) and of what will happen at the end (12.25-29). Chapters 11 and 12, taken together, thus tell the story from creation (11.3) to new creation (12.28), from covenant (11.8-29) to new covenant (12.24). it remains all through, the story of faith.

Faith for Hebrews is always closely linked to hope. Faith is looking at God and trusting him for everything, while hope is looking at the future and trusting God for it."

We trust that what we learn together through this series will strengthen and deepen our faith in our God in these uncertain times, will give us a renewed sense of perspective through understanding the 'big picture', and will challenge and encourage us as we look again into the lives of the heroes and heroines who have gone before us.