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Item number three on our list of Seven Faith Practices is “read and study the Bible.”   Each week we, as a congregation, will be reading one chapter from a book of the Bible.  Currently, we are reading from the book of Hebrews. 

We will continue with our “one chapter per week” schedule.  I hope you will consider joining us as we practice our faith!  

Our reading schedule is as follows: for the week starting… 

Faith Practice #3 Reading Schedule...

April 8 – Hebrews 1
April 15 – Hebrews 2
April 22  – Hebrews 3
April 29  – Hebrews 4
May 6  – Hebrews 5
May 13  – Hebrews 6
May 20  – Hebrews 7
May 27  – Hebrews 8
June 3  – Hebrews 9
June 10  – Hebrews 10
June 17  – Hebrews 11
June 24 – Hebrews 12
July 1  – Hebrews 13

Starting in April, we will be reading the book of Hebrews.  The book of the Bible we call “Hebrews” was actually a letter written primarily to Jewish Christians.  The recipients were likely Jewish believers in Jesus Christ who were facing various challenges, including persecution and the temptation to revert to their familiar practices under the Mosaic Law. The author endeavors to strengthen their faith, encourage perseverance, and provide a robust theological foundation for understanding the significance of Jesus Christ in relation to the Old Testament scriptures and the covenantal traditions of Judaism.

The letter is filled with references to the Old Testament, including the use of Hebrew scripture and the mentioning of key figures and events from Jewish history.  This suggests that the audience was well-acquainted with the Old Testament and the customs associated with Judaism.  The author aims to demonstrate the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and types in Jesus Christ, emphasizing that he is the ultimate and superior High Priest, the perfect sacrifice, and the mediator of a new and superior covenant.

Hebrews can be divided into two main sections.  The first section (Chapters 1-10) establishes the superiority of Jesus Christ over the angels, Moses, and the Levitical priesthood.  The author emphasizes Christ's role as the final and ultimate revelation of God to humanity, surpassing the prophets and angels who played significant roles in the Old Testament.  The sacrificial system of the Levitical priesthood is portrayed as insufficient, with Jesus presented as the perfect High Priest who offered himself as the ultimate and eternal sacrifice for the redemption of humanity.

The second section (Chapters 11-13) takes a more practical and persuasive tone, encouraging believers to endure in their faith amidst trials and challenges.  The famous "faith chapter" (Chapter 11) highlights the exemplary faith of various Old Testament figures and serves as an inspiration for the readers to persevere.  The author also provides practical exhortations for holy living, emphasizing the importance of love, hospitality, and obedience to spiritual leaders.  The letter concludes with a call to fix one's eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith, and to remain steadfast in the face of difficulties.