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Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - By Faith

  Image: The Mealtime Prayer  --  Fritz von Uhde, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany. [Revised Common Lectionary] Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Psalm 50:1-8, 23-24; Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16; Luke 12:32-40 By faith… by faith… by faith… These words pulse through today’s epistle like a heartbeat, lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. (It also works in Greek, the language the letter was originally written in—a single, two-syllable word we translate “by faith.” It sounds like pist-ay). “By faith our ancestors received…by faith we understand… by faith Abraham obeyed… by faith he stayed… by faith he received.” If we add in the verses our lectionary reading skips today, we would hear even more: By faith . . . by faith . . . by faith . . . like the rhythm within us that keeps us alive. We don’t know who wrote the Letter to the Hebrews. But what we can tell from reading the whole letter and hearing its concerns is that it’s written to people who are giving up, who are leaving the church, who are leaving the faith. It’

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