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Lectionary

3 December 19

The measures of wordly success are not and never have been the measures of success of the righteous. The world despises the righteous. If they are successful, their work is subverted by their assistants and advisers: if they are not successful in this world they are mocked.

But this world does not have the power to bring back the dead. This world cannot make or break empires by the faith of a small company. This world only knows evil, and evil makes you lie, lies make you stupid, and in a civilization of lies there is not even much ruin.

If the ancients held firm without the hope of Christ, with Christ we should be far stronger.

Hebrews 11:32-40

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

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