Fr. David's Lent Reflections day 28
Day 28: Hebrews 6:13-20 (Sunday epistle reading)
This is the 28th day of our Lenten journey, the Sunday of St. John Climacus. God bless you as you travel the path to the Cross and to our Lord’s resurrection. Let’s look at today’s Sunday epistle reading, Hebrews 6:13-20.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Brothers and sisters, this year we have had the prophesies of Isaiah to accompany us for the journey of Great Lent. Just as the book of Isaiah is divided into two parts, so God gave him two very different kinds of prophesies - one encouraging and the other a warning. The carrot and the stick. This is the way all of life goes, if you do a good thing, you get good results, but if you don’t, you get bad results. It’s one or the other, you can’t decide not to decide. I often make decisions by asking myself, “what do I want to happen in the end?” Sometimes it’s obvious, even though it may be difficult, what I need to do in order to get where I want to be. Other times, I don’t really care, and so I don’t do anything.
But when it comes to the spiritual life, there is an element that changes everything - God, and the promises He has made. As this passage from Hebrews says, “God made a promise to Abraham.” And He made a promise to you, just like He made one to me. And because of the promise, we “have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.” We cannot let the hope sit untouched, we cannot be indifferent. The promises made by God, the ones we read about in Isaiah, cannot be ignored. Yes, sometimes they are difficult to read and meditate upon, but the end is always the same, as the epistle to the Hebrews says: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain.” That is to say, what we want to have happen in the end is in the hands of God, and He promises, confirming the promises with His own name, that when we seek Him, we will know His salvation.