First, the chapter. Hebrews 11 is one of the most well known chapters in the Bible. It contains what is commonly known as the 'hall of faith'. It's a list of people who The Writer tells us acted in faith, which he also tells us, is an essential ingredient to pleasing God. In fact, The Writer even defines what faith is in v.1, "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see".
His list includes the who's who of ancient Biblical stardom - like Abraham, Noah and Moses, and some lesser known people like Barak, Jephthah and Rahab.
None of the people in The Writer's list were perfect. All were flawed and sinned. But they were, nevertheless, people of great faith. The moved boldly at critical moments in response to what God was doing. Apparently, this pleases God.
9 years ago yesterday - on September 1, 2002 - a group of people moved boldly at a critical moment in response to what God was doing, and that day we held our first PCC service. (Now before you get all fired up, I'm not putting us in the same category as Abraham or Moses, I'm just seeing the truth of the text through time and into this moment.) We took almost no time to plan (2 weeks), we had no money and almost no people. We really had no idea how many would show up. I remember Susan telling me that 50 would be good. She was concerned I was going to be disappointed.
That first day, 9 years ago, 148 people came. I have no idea how most of them found out about it. The only advertisement we had was word of mouth, and there was little time to spread the word. On that first Sunday, we had our first baptism - 1 person. She was a teenager then. We still see her (with her family now) at PCC today.
From that first act of faith, God blessed our church and has taken us to places we never dreamed of on that first day. I wonder about the places we aren't dreaming of today that we will find ourselves standing in 9 years from now.
We are people of faith. We move on faith. We act on faith. We believe on faith. We live on faith. And when we do, God takes us to incredible places through an incredible journey.
Now that I think more about it, I'm sure that Hebrews 11 and September 1 have a lot in common.