Bible passage: Hebrews 11:13–16 (ESVUK)
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
Thinking about the new creation and prayer
We considered Hebrews 11 on the online weekend away. It describes the attitude and actions of the people of faith in the Old Testament. What did these people of faith think about the new creation?
The new creation is our true, everlasting home, it is where we belong. We are exiles now waiting to be taken home to be with Jesus.
- Think: think about your home or the situation or place that makes you most feel at home. Why do you like that place so much? What makes it feel like home? How do you feel when you are there? How does what we saw on days 1–5 make you want to call the new creation home? Consider what we‘ve seen in days 1–5 about the new creation. This place is your true, everlasting home. What things did you list about the place you call home on earth are true or will be better in the new creation?
- Pray: God would help you see yourself as a stranger and exile in this world, and would help you get to your home, the new creation, by fixing your eyes on Jesus, who we will be there with.
When you think about being at home, or enjoy a home comfort, pray God would help you think of the new creation as your home.
You could think about these questions:
- If you’re at home, how does lockdown show you the limitations of your earthly home compared to your heavenly home?
- If you’re not at home, how does being away from home during lockdown help you understand what it means to be a stranger and exile on earth? Reflect on these words from Hebrews 12:2–3. How do they help us think about getting to our home in the new creation? “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”