Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see. 2 The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith.
3 By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible.
4 By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice to God than Cain, which showed that he was righteous, since God gave approval to him for his gift. Though he died, he’s still speaking through faith.
5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he didn’t see death, and he wasn’t found because God took him up. He was given approval for having pleased God before he was taken up. 6 It’s impossible to please God without faith because the one who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards people who try to find him.
Through Hebrews, we read about the mystery of faith. “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” As All Saints Day approaches, I am reminded of the faithful ways of my loved ones, who have gone on to glory. Whether it is through biblical texts or because of those we have known personally, perhaps like me, you find yourself questioning or comparing your faith walk to the journeys of others. But I don’t want to compare my faith journey to anyone else’s, nor should I. Instead I want to look at my journey honestly and know that our God judges each of us independently.
We all want to know that God hears our unique cries, needs, celebrations and even our own challenging questions of faith. God does listen and walk with each of us through our faith-based journey. So as I prayed and literally walked with this scripture, I was reminded that my faith journey is just that, “mine”.
I need not compare my faith walk to anyone else’s way. Instead, I recall others’ faithful ways as their words and actions that live and reverberate within me. I am further reminded by their words and ways of what tangible faith in God looks like.
For me, I remember my dad’s hymn singing in full voice –including sometimes making up the silly words whenever he had forgotten them (and God smiled.) I am further reminded of God’s love because of my grandmother, who always gave me a special hug and wink that was reserved just for me. Whenever I see butterflies, I think of the soul of a friend who reminds me to look up and to see the grandeur of God’s creation, even in the midst of a pandemic. And when I read God’s Word, I am further reminded that my Lord keeps faith in me, so I will hold onto faith in my Lord. This is all the proof that I need.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
When we cannot physically see our faith, sometimes it’s hard to know it. What faith-filled questions do you have for God, even difficult ones? Do you ever wonder about your faith journey as compared to the journeys of others? Perhaps when thinking about faith, you think of others who have passed. What tangible examples of faith do you recall from loved ones who have gone on before you? How do their faithful words and ways live on through you?
Prayer: God of Our Ancestors, we acknowledge that sometimes seeing or keeping faithful is difficult. We thank you for the ways and words of our saints. We give thanks for the many lessons that they have provided. Help us to walk in faith, as you would have us walk in the way that leads to life with you. Help us to grow with you in faith, so that those around us may come to know you through all that we do. Amen.