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Dec 3 – Faith of our Ancestors

Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we do not see. The elders in the past were approved because they showed faith.

Hebrews 11

We’ve entered this first week of our Advent journeys back at the beginning of faith. We’ve received an invitation from God through his Son Jesus Christ to leave other things behind to “follow him.” Our pride and sense of self-significance often convinces us that this is a solitary journey. We fool ourselves into thinking that it’s us against the world, that me and Jesus are on this journey through the wilderness of sin and death together. This is the faith of our early discipleship, the faith of us making a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ through whatever lies ahead of us.

Eventually though, we recognize that we can’t do this faith thing alone. We need more than just the spiritual presence of Jesus in our lives! We need our brothers and sisters in Christ. You wouldn’t go on a backpacking trip without a few partners, would you? If you get injured, you need someone to go search for help and someone to stay beside you! The same is true for our journeys of faith. We need each other on this path of discipleship. There are also people in our lives who need us and our witness.

But even this kind of thinking is too small for today’s Scripture! The writer of Hebrews reminds us about Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Sarah, Rahab, and countless others! When we remember their stories, their faith (and even their redemption from failures), they surround us on our own Advent journeys. Our mothers and fathers have paved the way for us and our children and grandchildren will follow in our steps. Thanks be to God!

God, thank you for sending others to accompany us through the difficult road ahead. Give us the strength to run this race with perseverance until we reach its completion. Amen.

 Joel Peterson

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