+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Hebrews 6:1-20 (NLT)
So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.
For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come — and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.
Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
God’s Promises Bring Hope
For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
“I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.”
Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus secures the anchor for our souls.
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
– Hebrews 6:19
In today’s reading we are assured that God is trustworthy (God cannot lie), and that he has given us both his promise and his oath – therefore, we can confidently hold on to the hope God has given us – secure in Jesus’ priestly ministry – which then is the strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
When Jesus entered heaven at his ascension, he took our hope of future reward with him. Now, seated at the right hand of God, we have a secure anchor for our souls in the very presence of God. It’s our hope in Christ that keeps us from drifting away from God. Jesus secures the anchor for our souls – the hope that is the steadying force of our entire lives.
Questions for consideration:
- When you think of God as a Promise-Keeper, what comes to mind? Please explain.
- When you think of something that seems hopeless, what comes to mind? Please explain.
- How is your hope in Jesus Christ a refuge for you in a time of trouble? Please explain.
- What can you do to draw closer to Jesus – the steadying force of your life? Please explain.
Heavenly Father: I pray for all couples who desperately want to have a child but have not conceived – that they will trust you to build their family in your way and on your schedule, and that they make decisions that honor you who creates and sustains life. And I pray that they may have the love and support of their worshiping communities as they wait on you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer for Hope and Strength:
Heavenly Father: Your hope arises with each dawn, pushing back the rubble of our lives. Each new day reminds us of your grace; you paint hope across the skies. Into the deafening cry of hopelessness you whisper love. Love that catches us, holds us. There is no end, just new beginnings. No finish, just new starts.
Lord Jesus: Into your resurrection we follow you to bathe in hope. You are alive! Not only in the world but in us. And so we carry your hope within our souls. Help us to lift our eyes, and feel your resurrection hope arise in our lives.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all to your glory Heavenly Father. Amen
“In Christ Alone” – Adrienne Liesching and Geoff Moore
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen