Resources for Pentecost +9
St. Thomas Day - St. Thomas, the Doubter
Prayer of Confession (based on Isaiah):
Father of creation and Shepherd of our souls, we come to you
with humble hearts asking forgiveness for our sins.
We confess that we have rebelled against your love. Even
though our lips have sung your praises on Sunday mornings we have turned
away from you and followed the ways of the world in our daily lives. We
have not loved our neighbor as ourselves, we have not heard the cry of the
needy, and we have not devoted ourselves to you in the study of your word
and in prayer.
Forgive us, we pray, and restore us into perfect union with
your will and purpose. By your Spirit empower us to bring our offerings of
time, service, devotion and tithes from the sincerity of our hearts. We
pray in the Name you have set above all names, Jesus the Christ, our
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Faith is . . .
a homily based on Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
by Rev. Thomas N. Hall
What is true faith? That's the
question some early Christians were asking themselves. What's faith? They must have felt like
they were targets, getting bullied and beaten on by their
non-Christian neighbors. Listen to what the writer says about these
Christians just one paragraph before our
At times you were publicly insulted and mistreated, at other
times you were ready to share with those who were being treated in
this way. You shared the sufferings of prisoners, and when all your
belongings were seized you endured your loss gladly, because you
knew that you still had something much, much better waiting for you.
. . . So we are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead we
have faith and are saved . . . (Hebrews 10:33-36)
It's that last phrase "we have faith and are saved," that must have
set them to thinking. "What is faith?" they had to have asked
themselves. Ever ask yourself that? What is faith? Tough times had made
them ask that question. The very next words seem to answer that: "Faith
is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we
I wonder what some of our answers might be; how we might expand upon
that answer about what faith is. Help me out. Give me your definition of
faith. Faith is. ..
This single verse-Hebrews 11:1-is one of the most profound statements
in all Scripture. Books, tapes, elaborate multimillion dollar schemes,
and dissertations, have been launched because of this little verse. It's
tenacious-it stands there tough and sturdy like a little tin soldier.
Maybe some of the ways this little verse has gotten translated might
shed some light on its meaning. One translator says it this way, "Now
faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for; it
means being certain of things we cannot see."' Another translator says
this, "And what is faith? Faith substantiates our hopes, and makes us
certain of realities we do not see."'
Let's see if we can discover
what this verse means by watching some of the "for instances" that the
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