Monday, 9 August 2010

The assurance of things hoped for ...

Peter Prove who last month took over as the director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance,
preached about hope and faith at Monday prayers. He began:

... and we affirm again with the author of the book of Hebrews that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.
This classic definition of the irreducible essence of faith was originally offered to an early Christian community struggling with persecution, marginalization and fear; a community in need of support; a community - like so many of us still today - yearning for concrete reassurance that the madness and lostness we see all around us and within us are not the last truth about the world, but only the next to last truth.
Taking examples from recent events in Australia and New Zealand Peter asked:
It's confusing. In which direction is the better country? ...
It's confusing. By what path may we approach the land of God's promise?
I felt particularly challenged by this phrase in Peter's sermon
Are we willing to be strangers and exiles on the earth, and to die in faith, not having received what was promised but having seen it and greeted it from afar?