“By faith Abraham obeyed… By faith he stayed… By faith he received…” - Hebrews 11:8-11 (NRSV)
The writer of Hebrews is on a roll. He is working himself up to make a point, and it’s a good one:
This blessed path we call life is made by putting one foot in front of the other and taking one risky leap after another—in faith, without a net.
Every time we say “yes” to hope, life starts over again. Whenever we trust the power of love, an entirely different future begins to take shape. Greatness becomes possible when we are willing to become fools.
There are no guarantees, of course. That’s what makes it faith. Still, history suggests that God is faithful even when we are not, that miracles can happen even after we’ve laughed in God’s face.
The road that got us here was paved by flawed people who trusted God’s promise of life abundant. By faith they had received a vision of another, better world, and so they kept going even when they could not see the way forward.
Take a moment today to remember and give thanks for your heroes in faith, both the ancestors who made your sweet life possible and the current companions who inspire you every day. Take another moment to recall the twists and turns in your own journey, taking special note of what happened when you risked everything, and how that ever-unspooling thread of grace kept pulling you forward.
With that in mind, consider again the challenges ahead. Trusting in what is yet unseen, resolve to run the race with perseverance and hope and love.
Trustworthy God, we’ve come this far by faith. Don’t let us turn around now.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.