by Barry Newton
It takes a lot of energy for a freight train to begin to chug forward along the rails. In a similar way, although the author of Hebrews would claim he only composed a short letter, he spilt a lot of ink to restoke the enthusiasm of his Christian readers that they might zealously persist in serving Christ. But once God’s people renew their dedication, then what?
With momentum lumbering the church down the tracks again, what are the next steps? What should the church be thinking about or doing? Hebrews 13 breaks out into a series of exhortations which remind us of Paul’s style of describing practical Christianity. Love each other. Be hospitable. Keep marriage pure. God will judge the immoral. God and the promises he has made to you are your security, so be content with what you have. Obey our leaders. Offer up spiritual sacrifices to God.
Even though our path may be more arduous than seemingly victorious, with an understanding of what the Pioneer of our faith endured and how he serves us, we can continue to move daily further down the track of living out our faith in practical ways. Hebrews 13 acknowledges that such faithfulness involves living with the realization we belong to an enduring city, not our current temporal one which might marginalize us as it did our Lord.