Friday, January 15, 2016

Hebrews 11:32-40

Hebrews 11:32-40
Contemporary English Version (CEV)

  On a few occasions, soccer games have been played in front of empty stadiums because the fans, often due to riots or other fan unrest, have not been deemed able to watch a game without being violently chaotic or offensive.  While the game was shown on TV, it was not appreciated by a live audience.
  Or think of the poems of Emily Dickinson, undiscovered until after her death.  Her work did not enhance the lives of others until much later.  Imagine the world without her work -- we would be poorer.
  So many things in this world are done before others.  It matters that there is an audience, for the act or the art enriches the lives of the audience.
  So too do the lives of the faithful saints of the church.  They live with integrity, facing danger with courage, and serve as an inspiration to us.  They remind us of the importance of faith and offer us models for how to live out faithful lives with quiet integrity, even when the rest of the world doesn't appreciate it.  They teach us how to let our lives shine before others, that our faith may be an example to others, that God may work through us to reach others.
  Living on our own, removed from community, runs the risk of depriving another of an example.  As a good friend of mine once said, 'you may be the answer to someone else's prayer'.

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