Today’s New Testament lesson (Hebrews 11:1-12) comes from what many of us know as the “Faith Chapter” of the Bible, and it contains one of my favorite passages:
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Verses 8-10)
As much as we might prefer it to be otherwise; faith, I think, always has this “unknown” quality to it. God calls — rarely providing a detailed map of where we’re going or how we’re going to get there — and we set off on the journey. We shouldn’t expect the trip to be easy. We are, after all, “strangers in a foreign country,” who are “living in tents” rather than putting down roots and building kingdoms for ourselves. But we keep moving anyway, because we know that somewhere out before us awaits a home of permanence and peace, fashioned by our Faithful Father.
In the early weeks of this new year, my congregation and I have been examining these dynamics in a sermon series that I’ve called “Putting Your Best Faith Forward.” As we’ve discussed, part of the challenge before us is to keep stepping out in trust — even when we know that there may be risks, obstacles and failures ahead.
Where might God be calling us today? And will we have the faith to go — to “put our best faith forward” — because we trust that He is both our destination and our companion on the Way?