Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for August 18
Rev. Dr. Libby Boatwright, preaching

Hebrews 11:1 declares “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In a world that demands proof and immediate delivery, faith would seem to be a difficult concept to live out. And yet so many of the ancient heroes/heroines of the Bible were faced with insurmountable obstacles and kept the faith even when the outcomes were not as they’d hoped or planned. They paved the way for us to run the race that is set before us in this unpredictable and sometimes perilous world. Will we stagger to the finish line or can we find an inner peace that sustains us for the marathon?

Please join us at 7:50 a.m., 10 a.m. or 5 p.m. on Sunday. Make your day complete by coming 10 minutes early to 10 a.m. worship for our August Hymn Sing and joining us for a time of celebration and fellowship at our potluck community dinner at 6 p.m.!

Theme for Sunday

My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear.
—Anne Lamott
Questions for Reflection
  • What does it mean to you to have faith? Where does your substance/conviction come from? Where does hope fit in to the picture?
  • Martin Luther King Jr. said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” What does this mean to you? Have you ever experienced a time when you took the first step, not knowing what would come next? What happened?
Hebrews 11:29-12:2

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
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