We did not capture the audio of this sermon by our associate pastor, the Rev. Stephen Coleman, so I am including his sermon on Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-16 here.
Our sermon series this month is entitled “What is Faith, wisdom from the Book of Hebrews.” A little background before we get to our scripture this morning. The book of Hebrews is a bit of a mystery. We do not know who wrote this book or when. The book is more like a sermon than a letter. The congregation that received this sermon is a bit of mess. The preacher Thomas Long describes the congregation as “tired – tired of serving the world, tired of Christian education, tired of being peculiar and whispered about in society, tired of spiritual struggle, tired of trying to keep their prayers going. Tired of walking the walk, many of them are thinking about taking a walk, leaving the community and falling away from their faith.” So much of the book of Hebrews is an attempt to encourage, revive, renew, rejuvenate this tired congregation. We come this morning to chapter 11 – perhaps the most well-known chapter in this book. It is a chapter that defines faith and then lists the cloud of witnesses, the people who exemplified faith in their life. To those of us who are tired, discouraged about life, the world, the church – we hope today and the next few weeks will rejuvenate, renew, inspire you as we move toward the end of summer to a new school year. Join with me now as we read together and listen together to Hebrews 11, verses 1-3, 8 to 16.