think this is a private endurance event (Craddock), the “American” story, Faith
verse in this section: “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without
which no one will see the Lord” (12.14).
In the passage as a whole, there is more language about connecting with
God in holiness and worship. Yet, there
is an understanding that this connection with God does not occur without a
healthy connection with God’s people.
“So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your
brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the
altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and
offer your gift” (Matthew 5.23-24). And,
Hebrews says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no
root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble” (12.15). Being in the grace of God and being free of
bitterness – at peace with everyone – are intimately connected.
say, “The peace of Christ be with you”, we are making a powerful statement: “I
forgive you. Please forgive me. Let there be nothing to separate us.”
Dillard, throwing snow balls at passing car
even of hostile pursuit, persecution … aggressive!
his brother dead
but no repentance (translation differences – who repents)
to recognize his role in the conflict
so sorry, but it was really your fault”
LaMott, “Nursing a grudge is like drinking rat poison
expecting the rat to die”
Holiness and seeing the Lord
part of the vocabulary for worship (before vocab of rules)
bitterness is a defiling root (Craddock 154) – opposite
gift of God
(Jesus the priest and the sacrifice)
we lay hold of
not come (12.18-21)
have come (12.22-24)
not refuse the one who is speaking” (12.25)
blood speaks: You are cleansed
would we refuse that? Because it’s all
time his voice shook the earth (12.26)
but now he
has promised … not only the earth but also the heaven (26)
us give thanks
we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (12.28)
up during an earthquake
my tastes and preferences, trends in worship of the 1950s or the 2020s, whether
or not I feel fed. Now, we hope to be
fed, but we are fed by God, not according to our tastes. Eat your vegetables. It’s good for you.
worship – not understand anything
Movement – children
dancing … not me!
forgiveness (pursue holiness)
life inside out, so that it is all about Jesus, not me
Fred B. Craddock. 1998. Hebrews in The New
Interpreter’s Bible, Vol XII.
Annie Dillard. An American Childhood.
Anne LaMott, cited by Bill Hybels, Global Leadership Summit