Friday, June 19, 2009

Remember those earlier days… (Hebrews 10:26-39) 190609

Recently a friend of mine started a group in Facebooks, which reminds us of our good old days. We were together when we were younger, composing songs, having gigs and performing. We had great fun and many fond memories together. When this group in the Facebook was formed, we saw many old photographs being uploaded and all those who joined the group and saw those pictures, we had a good laugh and warmth filled our hearts.

Things in the past can be either good or bad. We can either have fond memories of the past or bad experiences which we would not want to mention about it anymore. There are also things of the past we are really took pride and others which we feel ashamed of. Do you have such past too?

I think the author of Hebrews is issuing a harsh warning (10:26 – 31) — arguably the harshest in the book — with a gentler reminder of past success (10:32 – 34), then rounding out the whole by calling this struggling community back to a life lived in light of the Parousia , the end days (10:35 – 39).

As I meditate on this passage, I am convicted that the Lord will judge (v30). There is no way I can just forget about my sinful past, though it already has no effect on us because of what Christ has done; it is nonetheless a reality of the past. And the warning is not of the past, but of the future. We don’t warn what is already past; we warn what is ahead of us. Similarly, we are not to dwell in the past, but look out for the future carefully.

What do we do with our past? Remember those earlier days when we stood the ground in a great contest in the face of suffering (v32). Remember the good old days. Remember the past success and past victory. The author did not say: Remember the past glory. I think the author just want to remind his readers that the good things of the past are not those glorious things; it is those when they preserved and stood firm in the face of persecution.

The author knows that what will hold God’s people for the future is not those good old days, so to speak; but it is those good old suffering days whereby they go through it together. Therefore, suffering may not be a bad thing after all. It is a good opportunity for God’s power to be shown through our suffering.

I am writing this, as my church’s Sri Lankan pastor is undergoing brain tumor treatment, one of my small group member’s child still having a hole in his heart, and another member has some genetic disorder which cause him to have joint stiffness from time to time, and others. I know that there are others, who are suffering for Christ in one way or another, being mock by classmates or colleagues for not able to join them on Friday night outing or Sunday morning game. Stood your ground, you will be able to remember these good suffering days in the future.


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