Hello! So today we'll be starting our journey through a long letter to the Hebrews. This letter was almost certainly not written by Paul as the language is far more composed than anything else in the New Testament epistles. Hebrews is a shift for us as we've been reading Paul's letters to Gentile based churches for the last month and half. Hebrews (and the epistles that follow) are written by Jews to Jewish Christians living in Jerusalem. Hebrews in some ways is similar to 1 and 2 Chronicles from the Old Testament which served as a review of everything you've read up to that point. Hebrews circles back to the tensions between extremists Jews that believed Gentiles could not be welcomed without first going through circumsciion and other extremists (mostly Gentiles) that argued one could only be Christian if you destroyed all allegiance to Jewish law and practice. Paul and James represented the more moderate approach and Peter served as moderator. The letter implies that Jews are still struggling with believing Jesus was the Messiah because their understanding is that the Messiah would usher in a physical kingdom by way of military force. This is nothing new, we learned this from the Gospel's themselves. As we work through Hebrews try to reset your brain to "Hebrew" mode by reading this through the lens of the Old Testament and through the eyes of a Jewish practioner/Jerusalem citizen. It will help connect with the reading more, I believe.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
The author writes a warning (plea) about drifting away from the faith. Can you chronicle the times your faith has wavered? What helped bring it back? What caused it in the first place?
The late (and great) Rachel Held Evans posed a question about how we approach scripture (and the value of people too) in her book, Searching for Sunday. This picture below is a snippet from that. I invite you to read this and respond to it.
- Overview Video -
Lots of videos have saved me from having to type a lot lately, haha, but that ends tomorrow. For those of you interested in the commentary section be relieved that tomorrow we will have it for the next five days in a row after that.
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is the written prayer found on page 335 of our hymnal. I invite you to close out this time of study by inviting the Holy Spirit to be with you.
"An Invitation to the Holy Spirit"
O God, the Holy Spirit,
come to us, and among us;
come as the wind, and cleanse us;
come as the fire, and burn;
come as the dew, and refresh;
convict, convert, and consecrate
many hearts and lives
to our great good and to thy greater glory;
and this we ask for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.