Today I got up and dressed in black, and I went to class. We were reading Hebrews 11:8-22, a passage from the middle of the “by faith . . . ” litany. By faith, the passage goes, our ancestors obeyed God and gave up their land and their comfort and their rights. By faith, Abraham stayed in a foreign land and by faith Abraham died in a foreign land, and Abraham did not receive that which God promised him. Yet, Hebrews asserts, “from a distance, [Abraham and his wife and our ancestors] saw and welcomed” the promised things.
This is no blind faith. Abraham sees these promises far off; Abraham looks “forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Abraham desires — images — “a better country,” “a heavenly one,” one which “God has prepared . . . for them.” And faith, the author writes, is the assurance of things hoped for, the being of things not seen. That “being,” hypostasis in the Greek, denotes not just an intellectual certainty but an actual, physical reality. Faith, Hebrews asserts, sees with great hope what will be and what is not yet.
No — we don’t flee. No — we don’t go. No — we don’t fear. No — we stay in the land, and we seek, and we greet with joy the coming promises.
Here’s the one thing, Kate said last night while we worried. We know Hillary couldn’t fix the world anyway. Now the church has to do the things we know we need to do. Now the church has the opportunity to demonstrate that Christ is the source of true care, reform, and love. We still have to do our job, and now salvation can’t be attributed to the party.
Now we know, my Facebook feed was repeating over and over this morning, that voting is not enough. Now we know that casting a ballot isn’t enough to change the world. Now we know better than ever that we vote with our time, money, words, and heart. Now we go, do, be.
In January, I began writing down the title of every book I finished reading.