A message for the week starting on Sunday 14 August 2022
Lectionary Week: 10th Sunday of Pentecost
Prescribed Texts: Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalms 80:1-2, 8-19, Hebrews 11:29-12:2, Luke 12:49-56
When My Senses Lose Hope
Focus Text: Hebrews 11:29 – 12:2
We are all born with the ability to have faith and practise our faith in something or someone. Irrespective of your religion or faith conviction, we all come to a point in our lives where faith or believing in something that you cannot touch or see, becomes everything to us. As a last resort we might experience that our senses have lost the ability to comfort and protect us, as no physical transformation can help us understand why we are suffering because of loss, trauma, hurt, or pain. All hope is lost as we experience worthlessness and distress.
The book of Hebrews takes us back to some of the narratives of the Old Testament. It reminds us of the stories of people and how they were confronted by the narratives of the water of the Red Sea that would save them from the enemy. Their moves were being tracked down as God was leading them to the other side of victory. The walls of Jericho fell after the people all walked for seven days believing that stone will be cast broken. Great kings have conquered other kingdoms through war and the favour of God gave their enemies into their hands to defeat. In the lion’s den, the mouth of the fierce animal was shut to spare the lives of the men who obeyed God and the Commandments. And so, we can continue to observe how the faith of people from ancient times rescued them from being destroyed and being filled with fear for the unknown.
Like the Old Testament narratives that are echoed in the New Testament, we all have a story to tell. The genre and the content of our stories might vary as we differ too. However, our tale ends with victory as we recognise that we too had to have faith in God to remain grounded as a human being created by God.
I too have my own testimony of how my faith in God rescued me from myself and self-destruction caused by trauma and pain. Disappointment from loved ones and others in my community was the main reason to doubt God. Eventually all that was left for me, was to believe in a God that no-one had ever seen and the hope that everything would turn out for the best. As a woman celebrating August as Women’s Month, I often wonder how far my testimony will go to encourage any person that comes across my path. Sometimes we think that during our own struggle, we cannot encourage another woman. That is very far from the truth. Did you ever wonder what an impact your own testimony and story might have in the life of another woman?
To think about: As we commemorate women during this month, consider telling your own story of faith and victory so that someone else can be encouraged and saved from drowning in their own sorrow and misery.
Written by: Ms. Baphiwe Nxumalo, trained Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator