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Summary: Second in series. Getting rid of the baggage that prevents us from our objective: becoming like Christ

"In Christ"

"All The World’s A Stage"

Hebrews 11:32-12:2

"And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 11:32-12:2 (RSV)

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances; 145

And one man in his time plays many parts

Our Story

Life is better than fiction

Each of us has a story to tell

Stories of bravery and cowardice

of wisdom and stupidity

of success and failure

-each of us can tell (of) the story that shaped our lives

The stories are not ours alone, but we share them

My story is intertwined with my wife’s.

Our story is intertwined with our children’s.

Etc.

So enriching are the stories we can tell that the study of family genealogies is a hot topic.

-our family historian

Our genealogy enables us to both see the larger story, but also to participate.

Broader View

The first century Christians were struggling; facing persecution, ridicule, oppression

-questioning how God could allow them to suffer

-questioning why God would let them suffer so?

Writer of Hebrews writes these early Christians reminding them of their heritage.

These early Christians were not the only ones to suffer.

-Theirs is not the only story

-They have a spiritual genealogy

-Their story arises out of a larger story of the struggles of God’s people

The struggle of God’s people to do God’s will, while opposed by a godless people.

"And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." Hebrews 11:32-38 (RSV)

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