August 8,  2010       



Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23 (23)

-Our lectionary selection of verses jumps to Abraham's example. It cites Abraham's willingness to set out for a land which God promised him, even though he had no idea what it was (11:8). This was an act of courage and risk. The author gives the biblical story a twist by indicating that the promised land was not really Canaan at all, but a heavenly city (11:10).


-Wait without idols. Keep the faith


-What Abraham really yearned for (and Moses and all the others as well!) was something they could not articulate for themselves. It was the God given yearning to want to be in the place where God is, in the world of God's heavenly presence.


-Sarah and Rachel and Leah and Rebekah and Miriam were all part of these stories of faith too - don't forget them!


-faith may be as small as a mustard seed

- The church to which Hebrews was written was a church that had lost its zeal.  The writer wanted those who read this letter to hear once again the stories of faith.  to be renewed in their own faith.


FAITH  (see more quotes below)

-Questions: Define faith. Is it quantitative (of degrees)? Is it qualitative? Is it a spiritual gift from God? Is it a natural human characteristic?

-Faith is simply a willing but struggling trust in the revealed intentions of God.

-Faith that cannot help us live will not help us die

-Mysterium tremendum, Rudolf Ott

-Every religion that does not affirm that God is hidden is not true Pascal.

-We do not receive more faith than we need. .

-Faith is a category of relationship. Douglas Hall

-The heart of faith is relationship. (with God)

- To claim one has faith is to claim one has a relationship with God.

-Faith is the substance of things hoped for, not seen. In other words, we live by the spirit and there are spiritual gifts that are given to aid us in this life. deJong

-Faith is not belief

-Faith sees best in the dark. Kierkegaard

-Faith not from miracles; miracles from faith.

-Don't close your mind to safe guard your faith.





These verses are part of a larger section of Jesus' warnings and exhortations (12:1 – 13:9).  Last week's Gospel lesson (12:13-21) warned against storing up treasure for oneself without being rich toward God.  Jesus then counseled against worry, assuring the disciples of God's love and providence (22-34). 


-The whole idea of where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, is the rearranging of priorities


-But this passage leaves little out.  Jesus makes very clear that he wants our treasure to be in heaven.  Where our treasure is, there will our heart be.


-The heart follows the treasure and not the other way around.  Jesus knows that our hearts are quite often not where our stated priorities are -- the heart does not follow the head.  Instead, our hearts are where our money is.  Our hearts follow our treasure. Anders


-Christians who know where their treasure is, who are willing to work, and who are not complacent in their servant hood.


-Our hearts desires will announce to which kingdom we belong


- "Do not be afraid."  during violent storm when Jesus walked on water and again in Upper room.


-We are always to be ready for Christ’s second coming, his third coming, his persistent coming, his relentless coming. The miracles of God’s presence is forever coming to us, and we need to be alert, sharp, ready for Christ’s in-breaking into our lives.


-Paul Tillich reminds us that faith is "That about which we are ultimately concerned. "or putting our hearts where our treasure is.


-Looks like Chopin was buried where he died, in Paris. As requested ,his heart was returned to Warsaw where it was placed in the Holy Cross Church


SERMON                                                  HOPE      A sermon on hope might be appropriate for this Sunday.  (Hebrew scriptures) Here are some quotes summing up the meaning of real hope.


-A man will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body--the wishbone. R.Frost humor, hope,

-A man's search shall exceed his grasp or what is heaven for? R. Browning hope,

-Two men digging. Asked hope what they were doing. One said just digging, making money, bidning my time. Other said, "I'm helping Chrisopher Wren build a great cathedral. Christian. Mission purpose Jesus disciple

-Always be a first rate version of man self rather than a second rate version of someone identity

Always be a first rate version of man self rather than a second rate version of someone identity

-God is the only absolute future of all human hopes. Karl Rahner

-Earthy hopes must be killed, only then can one be saved by true hopes.  Kierkegaard

-Faith is the assurance of things hoped for....

--I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing  T.S; Eliot.

If a person can see a thing already, one does not need to hope.  Romans 8: 2

In faith hope and charity there is no excess.

-Hope is always  born out of hopelessness

-It is hopelessness rather than pain that crushes the soul.  William Styron

-must accept finite disappointments but must never lose infinite hope.  M.L.Kig

Long term hope is not engendered by illusions or lies; hope is engendered by truth.  C.M. Smith

-Knowing that suffering produces endurance...character produces hope and....Romans 5:3-5

-No hopeless situations only situations only those who lose hope.

-Some hopes erode s if we fail to give them up

-The ability to wait is essential to hope   William F. Lynch

-The last thing that dies is a persons hope.  Diogenes

- the ultimate form of hope is prayer  Reinhold Niebuhr

- There are three theological virtues: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is hope.Augustine

o travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. R.L.Stevenson

-Hope as a substitute for action is as W. Burton Baldry called it, "disappointment deferred."

- Too often hope is expecting something for nothing

-I love baseball. In a recent episode of "Peanuts," Lucy is in her usual position in right field when suddenly a batter hits a fly ball to her. She looks up to catch it, only to have it drop behind her. She picks up the ball and saunters to the pitcher's mound to give it to Charlie Brown, saying, "Sorry I missed that one, manager, I was hoping I'd catch it! Hope got in my eyes.

-(vv. 32-48) promises hope, and would therefore be of special interest to Luke's church, which is suffering persecution.  It would also be of special interest to a church that has been looking for the Parousia (Second Coming) for many years and is beginning to wonder when it will take place.

-Wishful thinking anticipates that for which there has been no effort, no improvement

-"A mania of maintaining that everything is right when it is wrong."  Voltaire

- Hope is "The noble temptation to see too much in everything." Chesterton

- hope: "It is the major weapon against the suicide impulse."Karl Menninger

-Hope is "the chief happiness which this world affords." Samuel Johnson

-authentic hope comes from a realistic view of the world.  Paul

-hope opens us to God's future.

-No wonder St. Paul places Hope second in that great abiding trinity of Faith, Hope and Love




-Alexander Solzhenitsyn tells of a moment when he was on the verge of giving up all hope. While a political prisoner in the Soviet Union, he was forced to work 12 hours a day on a starvation diet; and he became gravely ill. The doctors, in fact, predicted his death. One afternoon, while shoveling sand under a blazing sun, he simply stopped working. He stopped working even though he knew that the guards would beat him severely, even to death. But he felt he just could not go on. Then he saw another prisoner, a fellow Christian, moving toward him cautiously. With his cane that man quickly drew a cross in the sand and then erased it. In that brief moment, Solzhenitsyn felt all of the hope of the gospel flood through his soul. It was a renewal of Christian hope, even though the situation had not changed. It gave him courage to endure that difficult day and the months of imprisonment that followed.

-True story of woman who had a tall antique desk with shelves that held her RS Prussia china collection. It was beautiful to look at and quite valuable. But her  house was close to the railroad tracks and the floor would vibrate when the trains rolled by. She didn't know it but the vibration from the trains over the years was loosening the top shelf of that desk. One day her son came into the house to find broken china pieces all over the dining room floor. She was sweeping them up with a broom and tears were running down her cheeks.  "Worldly goods. That's all they are is worldly goods." As spiritual as this woman was, she also sometimes had to struggle to not let the beautiful things of this world own her heart

-Sophia Loren cried at the theft of a valuable necklace, her husband Carlo Ponte told her, “Don’t cry over something that can’t cry over you.” She recognized the wisdom of what he said and quit crying. Sue in Cuba, KS

-Bungee jumping is not a difficult sport. All one has to do is take the first step, and the rest
comes easy. But that one step is a doozy.




-Without seeing you, we love you; without touching you, we embrace; without knowing you, we follow; without seeing you we believe. Song called With out Seeing You by David Hass

-Believe and I will show you, not I will show you and then you will believe. Paradox,

-If they don't deepen, faith and relationships both will die.

-Sometimes, faith means taking someone else's word for it.

-Better to ask “Release my faith” rather than “Give me faith”

-The only way one learns to trust is to trust..  John Powell

-Faith is not assent to doctrines about God. Douglas John Hal

-Faith that cannot help us live will not help us die

--Religion is about ritual, Faith is about relationships. I do not believe in people telling others of their faith, especially with a view to conversion. Faith does not admit of telling. But when it is lived it becomes self-propagating. Gandhi

-Godly power depends on INSIDE things, (love, faith, truth, etc.)

-We allow God to control our future but not our present

-Is not a can never say you have faith.

-The greatest risk is the risk of riskless living. Stephen R. Covey

-Too often we have faith in our answers to mystery rather than faith in God



-As Motel Six repeatedly says, "We'll leave the light on for you".

-Then there was the bird who had so little faith he wore a parachute.

-If you're hankering for God, He's already found you for it is God who creates the hankering Gerald Mann.

- We are made to run well on the commandments. You could put channel #5 in your car but it wouldn't run well on "smell #5". F.Sheen   We are made to run well on faith.

- Faith is located under the left nipple. Martin Luther

-What is wrong with the world today? The best response of all was also the briefest. It read, Dear Sir, I am.

-Modern believers tent to trust in therapy more than in mystery Kathleen Norris

-Faith is believing what you know ain't so. Mark Twain

-  Some one asked Abraham, "Where you goin",  "I dunno;"  "What you goin to do there?" ,  "I dunno;"  "Why you goin?"  "I dunno."   (Abraham's faith)




 -You can’t fill up the glass after it is over flowing!  Use the faith you already have!  Make room for more.   Use a pitcher of water and glass to illustrate this.





-God give us a pure heart that we may see thee, a humble heart..hear thee, a heart of love, serve thee, a heart of faith that we may live thee. Dag Hammarskjold

- Gracious God, create within all of us that hope which cannot and will not disappoint us no matter how deep our hunger. Pour your love into our hearts and remind us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Amen.



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