Chapter 11 is a great chapter to read in the light that Halloween is approaching. “What?”, you may be asking. Let me explain…
Halloween means different things to different people these days. There is some debate as to how it originally started. Some feel it originated as a Celtic pagan festival, other scholars find it began solely as a Christian holiday. The name, obviously, originated from Christians. So, let’s go with what the name means….November 1st is known in the Catholic church as All Hallows Day (aka All Saints Day) and the evening before, All Hallow’s Eve (aka Halloween). The church uses this time to remember saints, martyrs and all the faithful departed.
Keeping that in mind, the Hebrew writer was doing just that when he was writing chapter 11. He was listing out many of the faithful in the Old Testament and many we don’t know about. Remember that, “these were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (11:39-40)
And why is it good to remember dearly departed saints?
So that we can be inspired by them to “throw off everything that hinders” (12:1) and “fix our eyes on Jesus” (12:2), like they did!
Well, I can think of someone who does NOT want us to be inspired in our faith! He would do anything to shift our focus away from Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He works hard to have us “grow weary and lose heart.” (12:3)
So during this fall season, take a look at the Old Testament and be inspired by the forefathers of our faith. Also, think of others in your life that had a true faith in Jesus, but may have passed away now. Be inspired by them! Be encouraged in your faith!! What a great time of year to do that!!🍁🍂🌻🌽