Read Hebrews 11:1-12.
It can be intimidating to step into something new or unknown. And yet, that is where we often find ourselves: on the precipice of the unfamiliar. Maybe it is a new job or school year waiting for us, an impending move to a new city, a change in relationship, a new plan for a future you haven’t totally figured out. The new year especially can feel overwhelming with possibility and uncertainty.
It’s a good thing then that, when we need a guide, we have ancestors of faith who took that step into the uncertain. Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and Isaac all ventured out into the unknown: Jacob and Isaac travelled to new places with only God’s promises in their ears. Noah built an ark even when others told him to let it go. Sarah and Abraham believed in God’s promise that they would have a child even when it seemed impossible.
By faith, these ancestors took steps forward into the difficult and beautiful world. By faith, they entered into a murky future with no guarantees of happiness or success or security. Faith did not protect them (or any of us) from hardship, disappointment, and despair. Instead, faith held them steady as they entered into the uncertainty and possibility that life inevitably brings.
By faith, these ancestors of faith moved forward into the richness of life. And by faith, we can too.
Dear God, thank you for the people who are ancestors of faith for us. As we enter the uncertainty of a new year, may we follow their example and let our faith guide our steps into something new. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Rev. Caroline Barnett
Campus Minister, UKirk Auburn
Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church (Auburn, AL)