"How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight." Hebrews 11:32-34
There is a saying that fills the eleventh chapter of The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament. It is a saying that has been important to the work of God in every generation. This phrase appears in past tense and refers to previous generations. The phrase is as much a tribute to the people to which it refers as the God they served. The phrase is, "It was by faith that..."
At the very beginning of chapter 11 Paul writes, "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." The rest of chapter 11 outlines the great characters of faith. They are people who had confidence that what they hoped for would actually happen. They had assurance about things they could not yet see. Their faith in God guided their actions.
I am very excited to look at this Scripture with you this Sunday. It was by faith that St. Andrew's was chartered as a church. It was by faith that the charter members began the church on the corner of Bloomingdale and Bryan. It was by faith that ministry has taken place over the first 49 years of St. Andrew's history. It was by faith that we have come this far. Praise be to God.
This Sunday we will look at the faith it has taken to bring St. Andrew's to where we are today. It was by faith for sure. We will celebrate that faith. I can't wait to see you all this Sunday.