Hebrews 11:29 - 12:17

New Resources

  • Sermon Starters (Proper 15C)(2019)

    by Doug Bratt
    Mickey Mantle was among the best baseball players that ever played the game. Most experts, however, agree that he might have been one of the two or three greatest players ever had he not spent most of his life in the “fast lane.” Mantle once said, “If I had known I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself.” After all, his family history, as Rottman notes, suggested that Mantle would die at a young age. His father and grandfather had both died of heart attacks before they reached the age of 40. Friends said that because he was afraid of the death that he assumed would come to him at a young age, Mantle lived recklessly. Several days after he received a transplanted liver, Mickey Mantle held a press conference. He knew that he was largely responsible for the illness that had ruined his liver. Mantle also knew that some people still regarded him as a hero. “Look,” he told anyone who’d listen, “I’m an example alright – an example of how not to do it.” Near the end of his life Mantle told people, “Don’t live like I did. If you’re looking for a hero,” he basically said, “you’ll have to look somewhere else.”
  • Run with Perseverance

    by Frederick Buechner
  • The Balcony Is Full

    by Amy Jacks Dean
  • Proper 15C (2019)

    by Mary Foskett
  • Proper 15C (2019)

    by Phil Heinze
  • A Cloud of Witnesses

    by Barbara Johnson
    I wonder if you saw this TV program. It’s one of those “hidden camera” set ups. The setting was a sandwich shop in a small city in New Jersey, in a neighborhood where migrant farm workers gathered early each morning on a corner, hoping to be hired as a day laborer. Most are recruited from south Texas, Mexico and smaller Central American countries to work on farms in the area. The TV network hired an actor to work as a server at the lunch counter, taking orders for sandwiches. The actor was instructed to play the role of one who refused to serve anyone who could not speak English. And he made disparaging remarks about people who were not born in the USA. The network also hired two Spanish-speaking actors to pretend to be migrant workers, who were told to walk in and try to order a sandwich that server. The point of the hidden camera was to see how other customers might respond when they witnessed the Spanish-speaking men being treated disrespectfully. Would anyone stand up for the two men? Would anyone align themselves with the server?...
  • A Cloud of Witnesses (Hebrews)

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
  • So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

    by Heather Kirk-Davidoff
  • Faith Witnesses

    by Kate Matthews
  • Proper 15C

    by Kate Matthews
    Scroll down the page for a sample sermon on this text.
  • Recurring Motifs (Hebrews)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    These are far (far!) from the only appearances of mountains in scripture. Mount Ararat, the Mount of Olives, Mount Hermon, Mount Carmel, Mount Nebo, Mount of Transfiguration, and the list could go on. Each time a mountain shows up, we should look back to where else we have seen a mountain, remember those stories, and then see what is similar and what is different in the most recent appearance of a mountain. It's in the side-by-side observation that we can see the richness of the symbol as a whole and the nuances of each mention...
  • Proper 15C (2019)

    by Ryan Mills
  • Proper 15C (2019)

    by Brent Neely
  • A Cloud of Witnesses

    by Steve Pankey
  • Tomorrow

    by Mark Ramsey
    Father Gregory Boyle tells the story of a young man named Pedro. Caught in the gang life on the streets of LA, Pedro was filled with rage and resentment that he covered up with addiction to crack cocaine. Whenever Father Boyle would offer to take Pedro to rehab, he would decline. Until one day, Pedro changed his answer and began the long, hard journey of returning to himself. Thirty days into Pedro's rehab, his younger brother, caught up in similar demons, took his own life. When Father Boyle called with the news, Pedro is devastated...
  • The Politics of True Faith

    by Christy Randazzo
  • A Cloud of Witnesses

    by Fay Rowland
    Scroll down the page for a reflection on this text.
  • The Cloud

    by Melissa Bane Sevier
  • Ordinary 20C (2019)

    by Jude Siciliano, OP
    In July I watched clips from the Tour de France. I don’t understand the rules of this annual world championship bicycle race. It lasts 23 days and Wikipedia calls it, "the world’s most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race," It was won by 22-year-old Egan Bernal, the first South American to win the tour. I did not understand much of what was happening, but I was taken back by one thing I saw during the course of the race. Thousands of spectators lined the roads cheering and waving flags. But, unlike other sporting events, they were not behind barricades. Instead they were on the road, barely leaving room for the racing bicyclists. As the riders passed the crowds reached out to pat them on the back, shouting encouragement in their ears. At first I was put off by the mess and the disorderly intrusion these crowds made; hardly anything like the reserved spectators at a golf tournament! Then I thought again. In a mountainous 23 day bicycle race those cheering, back-slapping crowds may have energized the bodies and spirits of the straining competitors. Judging from the grimaces on their faces they certainly needed all the help they could get. Believe it or not, the crowds and the bicyclists at the Tour de France reminded me of today’s Hebrew reading...
  • Proper 15C (2019)

    by Gord Waldie
  • The Original Cloud

    by Carl Wilton

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • The Importance of Heroes

    by Gilbert Bowen
    Daniel Inouye writes of his father, "Throughout history, people have shown a craving for heroes who are larger than life, grand giants. My heroes are people you've never heard of. My father was my hero. He worked two jobs all his adult life, until he had his heart attack. His reward was to see his four children go to college, something that was denied him. You can repeat that story thousands of times through the United States. This is still a country of heroes. When I left home to join the Army during World War II, I was 18 years old. My uniform did not fit right. I was not glamorous at all. He was riding with me on a streetcar — we didn't have a car of our own. He didn't say much. Finally, he turned to me and said, ‘This country has been good to us. It has given us a good life. So be it. Whatever you do, do not lose your faith and do not dishonor your family.' It took him less than two minutes to say that to me, but it said more than a book. And I have lived off that ever since."...
  • Homestead Christians

    by John Christianson
    ("What is a pioneer?... a pioneer did three things: He laid claim to the land; He moved onto it; and He improved it...")
  • May I Give Her Your Name?

    by Fred Craddock
    Fred Craddock has a marvelous sermon based on these verses for Sunday. In the sermon he explains that the congregation for whom Hebrews was written has "lost its Amen." Craddock notes that many congregations lose their Amen, their zeal and passion, but this congregation is not "down on its all-fours looking for it. It doesn't care." The congregation has become apathetic...
  • Deep Footings, Wide Support

    by Michael Foss
    (""I am not afraid." These words were spoken to me by my father in a context that could have been filled with fear. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer....")
  • You'll Never Walk Alone

    by Sil Galvan
    A month after the accident to the day, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said to his mother, "Sit down mommy. I have something to tell you." At this point in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so for him to say such a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed and he began his remarkable story. "Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you, but you couldn't hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came." "The 'birdies'?" my wife asked, puzzled. "Yes," he replied. "The 'birdies'" made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me." "They did?" "Yes," he said. "And then one of the 'birdies' went to get you. She came to tell you that I got stuck under the door."
  • Pulp Fiction and Worldly Faith

    by David Lose
    ("Do you remember that scene near the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules and Vincent – the two hit men at the center of Quentin Tarantino's Academy Award-winning screenplay – argue over how to explain what happened when a drug dealer unloaded his handgun at them at close range but missed them entirely?...")
  • Living Like Issachar

    by Jim McCrea
    Seminary professor Stanley Hauerwas often begins one of his courses by reading a letter from a parent to a government official. In that letter the parent complains that his son, who had received the best education, gone to all the right schools, and was headed for a good job as a lawyer, has somehow gotten himself mixed up with a strange religious sect. This sect controls his every move. It tells him whom to date and whom not to date, and it has taken all his money. In the letter the parent pleads with the government official to do something about it. Hauerwas then asks his class, “Who is this letter describing?” Some think it’s the Moonies or some other sect. But the answer is that it’s a letter from the third-century written by Roman parents complaining about a group known as the Christians.
  • Looking at Clouds That Way

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Visual artist Piper Mavis used twine in a sanctuary to celebrate the history of one congregation in London, England. In 2012 Heath Street Baptist Church commissioned five artists to conceive and execute works for an exhibit called The Long Cloud of Witnesses.
  • The Amazing Race

    by Anna Murdock
    ("The young man's name is Ben Comen. While a student at Hanna High School in South Carolina, Ben became the subject of a Sports Illustrated article....")
  • A Great Cloud of Witnesses

    by Amy Richter
    They are witnesses, not just spectators. There is a huge difference. A spectator watches you go through something. A witness is someone who has gone through something herself, and the root meaning of the word witness, from which we get the word “martyr,” is someone who may have given his life going through it. We have witnesses cheering us on, not just spectators, people who have gone through what we struggle with, people whose testimonies of the strength God gave them can, in turn, give us strength and courage. We have witnesses rooting for us, weeping with us when we stumble, calling to us when we wander, urging us to finish the race.
  • We Can Be Heroes

    by Leslie Scoopmire
    Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
  • Our One and Only Short Mortal Life

    by Norm Story
    ("In the 1970's, there was a pop song by Kansas called 'Dust in the Wind'...")

Other Resources from 2016 to 2018

Other Resources from 2013 to 2015

Other Resources from 2010 to 2012

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources

The Classics

Currently Unavailable

  • Running the Race

    by Sarah Buteux
    ("I think that was the case with Dan Terry. If you've been following the news then you know that Dan was one of the 10 aid workers killed in Afghanistan last week and he's been much on my mind of late, not just because I care deeply about his daughters - who many of us know- but because what happened to Dan was so senseless and awful on the one hand, and so easy to avoid on the other...")
  • Afterward

    by Charles Spurgeon