In this series, I wrote twenty letters to each person in the “cloud of witnesses” named in Hebrews 11:1–32. These are:
- Abram (Abraham aged 80)
- Abraham (aged 140)
- Jochebed (Moses’s mother)
- Moses (as a young man)
- Moses (after the Exodus)
- Barak (and Deborah)
- Jephthah (and his daughter)
I write about how I encountered each of their stories, the questions I don’t yet have answered, and the things that I still wrestle with. In the process of writing these letters, I’ve grown a new appreciation of who each of them was as a person and what it might mean to embody their faith today.
They can be read as short introductions to these biblical characters or as reflections for use in private or public worship. All posts have printer-friendly PDF and direct print options at the bottom.
Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash
Faith, offering and voice: a letter to Abel August 1, 2021 - What was it about what you gave, when you gave it, from the means you had, that meant that your offering was one of wisdom, humility and willingness?
The hidden life: a letter to Enoch August 8, 2021 - The author of Hebrews mentioned you to highlight the importance of faith; if we don’t on some level believe God exists, we can’t search for him and come to him.
Commission, courage and completion: a letter to Noah August 15, 2021 - The bit that always gets me is God closing the door of the ark. I dunno, I just find something sacred in that. That God completes.
What do you make of your younger self? A letter to Abram August 29, 2021 - I have many questions. Do you ever look back to your younger self? Do you recognise yourself?
The story never told: a letter to Sarah September 5, 2021 - Many have told your story. But not you.
The truth of worship: a letter to Abraham September 12, 2021 - What did the LORD require of you?
Last(ing) words: a letter to Isaac September 19, 2021 - It’s no small thing that you knew your blessing would be more than just words.
Our heart’s desire: a letter to Jacob September 26, 2021 - I wonder if you felt guilty when you heard that your first hope would be realised, that Joseph was indeed alive?
The witness of the body: a letter to Joseph October 3, 2021 - For as long as your body was in Egypt, it testified to your faith. It made a statement to those who came after you that they couldn’t ignore or forget.
A mother’s courage: letter to Jochebed October 10, 2021 - I don’t imagine it was easy to give Moses up, even if you knew he would have a future that you could never give him if he had stayed. Had you chosen a name for him? What was it?
Passion and justice: a letter to Moses October 17, 2021 - You were a person of faith, even when you were younger.
Trusting God’s goodness: a letter to Moses October 24, 2021 - You know what I’d really appreciate right now? More of your faith.
To fight and be good: a letter to Joshua October 31, 2021 - I like to think you were someone who didn’t love war, but was capable of waging it. And winning it.
Acting in the moment: a letter to Rahab November 7, 2021 - I loved the feeling that you recognised what was coming and what you needed to do to save your family.
Jars of clay: a letter to Gideon January 30, 2022 - If military power and might were the currency of faith, you’d be remembered for your conquests. But you’re not.
The reward of victory: a letter to Barak and Deborah February 6, 2022 - At the end of the day, peace is its own reward. And it’s far greater than any personal glory we might gain in the fight to achieve that peace.
Passion and power: a letter to Samson February 13, 2022 - Sometimes I find it hard to believe your story is anything other than a testosterone-fuelled adrenaline rush.
Ending passivity: a letter to Jephthah and his daughter February 20, 2022 - I often wondered if it ever occurred to you to ask to be released from your oath.
Stories and pedestals: a letter to David February 27, 2022 - Are you the hero or the villain? Because no one wants to say neither or both.
Freedom to serve: a letter to Samuel March 6, 2022 - I love the fact that you served in the house of the LORD, even though you weren’t from the family of Aaron.