Faithful Endurance

It’s Good Friday. The day that we Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The weather here in Minnesota is snowy and dark. And as I am longing wistfully for spring, the heavy snowfall is a dark, almost oppressive thing. Spring lurks just out of reach and out of sight. I am eager for the shoots from the bulbs we planted, for our trees to bud and turn green. I am in need of endurance to make it just a few more days until spring weather and green arrives.

The disciples too were probably in need of endurance that evening before Passover. How disheartening must it be to watch the man you’ve spent the last couple of years following be arrested and crucified? Would it feel a bit like the end of the road? I have the advantage of being farther along in history, and knowing the end result of the story. For them, maybe Jesus’s promise to rise again started to look like a impossibility. Maybe their dreams and their faith were starting to crash.

I’ve been spending the last couple of days wondering why the lectionary includes the Hebrews 10:16-25 passage with these others that are so focused on the suffering servant and the crucifixion. And I found a link in this need for faithful endurance amidst a dark hour.

Hebrews is a letter concerned with endurance. In a culture rife with the need for instant gratification, I find this message relevant for me now. I hunger for fulfillment now–not 5 minutes from now, 5 days from now, or even worse 5 years from now. I want things immediately. As my husband can readily atest, I am not by any means a patient person about waiting.

This is not the picture I find in Hebrews. God does not always work on my instant gratification time table. God fulfills his promises, but the fulfillment is in God’s own way and God’s own time. Hebrews depicts a patient endurance as a result of faith in God’s promise–whether or not the promise is fulfilled in one’s lifetime.

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