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Faith Formation for ALL ages

August 14, 2022

10th Sunday

after Pentecost

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God

whose ways you may not understand at the time."

 — Oswald Chambers

Lectionary for 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 5:1-7 and Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19 / Jeremiah 23:23-29 and Psalm 82

Hebrews 11:29-12:2 / Luke 12:49-56


The Faith of Other Israelite Heroes

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 the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong 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.

The Example of Jesus

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 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.

 — Hebrews 11:29-12:2, NRSVue*

* about the NRSVue

From the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA

Motivated by love and respect for Scripture, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) hopes that you will find this New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (NRSVue) suitable to inspire, inform, and guide daily living. The goal of the NRSVue is to offer a readable and accurate version of the Holy Bible to the global English-speaking community for public worship and personal study, for scholarship and study in classrooms, and for informing faith and action in response to God.

Together with religious leaders from diverse communities of faith, we join in the conviction that the Scriptures offer good news of God’s love—wisdom to guide, hope to sustain, truth to empower, forgiveness to change, and peace to bless all of creation.

The NRSVue extends the New Revised Standard Version’s (NRSV) purpose to deliver an accurate, readable, up-to-date, and inclusive version of the Bible. It also continues the work of offering a version as free as possible from the gender bias inherent in the English language, which can obscure earlier oral and written renditions. The NRSVue, like the NRSV, follows “in the tradition of the King James Bible, [introducing] such changes as are warranted on the basis of accuracy, clarity, euphony, and current English usage, . . . as literal as possible, as free as necessary” (NRSV’s preface “To the Reader”). As also stated in the NRSV preface, the Bible’s message “must not be disguised in phrases that are no longer clear or hidden under words that have changed or lost their meaning; it must be presented in language that is direct and plain and meaningful to people today.”

Today's passage from Hebrews lists more of the history of the people

of faith:

the Red Sea crossing; the tumbling walls of Jericho; the valor of warriors up against enemies and lions; suffering of the faithful by torture, jail, and death. These also did not receive what was promised. This passage adds an interesting twist. It tells us why: "Since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect" (11:40, emphasis mine).

Cleo Fields of Louisiana, who at 25 was the youngest state senator in the country, said during the 1988 presidential campaign: "Booker T. Washington started to teach so Rosa Parks could take her seat. Rosa Parks took her seat so Fannie Lou Hamer could take her stand. Fannie Lou Hamer took her stand so Martin Luther King Jr. could march. Martin Luther King marched so Jesse Jackson could run."

Each step forward in the civil rights struggle depended on the faithful step of someone else. The same could be said of every movement for freedom and justice everywhere. Those who take the initial and middle steps may not see the promise, but they have moved the world that much closer to it.

And their perfection depends on us. The vision only keeps moving forward as long as we pick up the ball and run. The efforts of all those who went before us end in failure if we don't do our part. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us" (12:1).

Historian Vincent Harding describes these witnesses as "a great cheering squad for us. In the midst of everything that seems so difficult, that seems so powerful, that seems so overwhelming, they are saying to us: 'We are with you,' and 'There is a way through'....Don't give up!'

"No excuse for drooping-at least not for long. No excuse for not running-or at least walking strong....'Cause we are surrounded, folks. So, let's...get down with some real long-distance walking and running-and maybe even some flying like eagles, in due time. That's our tradition. That's our destiny. That's our hope. So go right on, brothers and sisters....There is a city to build."

Joyce Hollyday 

from Sojourners

Overview: Luke 10-24


Veggietales | Josh and The Big Wall | 

Veggietales | Josh and The Big Wall |
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