Summer Hebrews Series #5: Hebrews 11:1-16 [12:1-2; Matthew 8:5-10] for Narrative Lectionary (August 11, 2019?)

This week’s NL resources are a bit more “down-and-dirty” and less elaborated than usual. Vacation and one Sunday off due to heat (our two sanctuary window air conditioners were not going to be up to the 105 heat index that Sunday, especially with our older folks) means we are out of rhythm on our own use of the NL, but I am striving to keep these resources up-to-date for those using them.

We will not be providing resources for any of the three-week mini-series listed for NL for the tail end of the summer. Instead, we will move right into the Genesis cycle. The first set of these should be posted by mid-August.

Prayer of Confession from Hebrews 12:1-2                                                            

Call to worship from Hebrews 11-12                                                                                

Prayer of petition from Hebrews 11                                                                                      

How to pray the Scriptures; prayer based on Hebrews 11:1

Service based on Hebrews 11:1-12:2 from Calvin Worship Symposium

An order of worship around Hebrews 11: “With Every Good Thing Series – The Wonder of the Nature of Faith: David, Jesus and Hebrews 11” Also Calvin Worship Symposium

My own original liturgical pieces will be posted here when I get that far:!AuB3z496aTHTgaojI6BKhg7nNHbmlA


Hebrews 11:1

Hebrews 12:1



Having faith in God even when we can’t see him

Trust as the theme of the children’s sermon

Using the book The Little Prince to illustrate faith as an invisible thing that shapes our lives

The storybook of Faith the Cow tells of the faith-filled founding of Heifer International

Object lesson using things that work in ways we cannot see/understand as a metaphor for faith


Hebrews 11

Hebrews 12




Narrative Lectionary commentary on this passage-the power of the Word to evoke faith.

NL Podcast on this passage; apparently addresses the whole book/series…?

The role of those who went before/all saints                                            

Pulpit Fiction: Seeing and Living the Faith from Working Preacher


Sermon by Rev. Anrew Ladwehr from the time of Watergate -Faith: The Unseen Power

Faith Amid the Fog

Audio of Bishop Robert Barron’s sermon from 2003: The “Leap” of Faith          


Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 is in the RCL for Proper 14C/Ordinary 19C; see for

Hebrews 11:29-12:2 is in the RCL for Proper 5C/Ordinary 20C and Holy Week Monday

Working Preacher (RCL) Hebrews 11’s 2 statements about faith:

Working Preacher (RCL) Hebrews 11’s “honors list”                                                    

Summer Hebrews Series #4: Hebrews 9:1-14 [Matthew 12:1-6] for Narrative Lectionary (August 4, 2019?)


Featured image:

Images of the Holy of Holies:

Images for Hebrews 9:1-14…145936.146802..147479…0.0..0.101.427.4j1……0….1..gws-wiz-img.naJeXiW05Po&ved=0ahUKEwih8LndqNrjAhWMTN8KHSwjAmEQ4dUDCAY&uact=5

Images of opening the door   For a commentary using this image, see (NOTE: The 2015 commentary has the same content.)

17th Century etching of the Tabernacle:

My husband notes that the ark described here matches the one in Raiders of the Lost Ark… Synopsis of the movie at (page 39) of


Offering Prayer: God of all power and grace: we have often been overwhelmed by the indifference of the world and have let it discourage us from the work of disciple making and world transforming to which you’ve called us. Remind us once more of the victory of Christ and the victory available to us. As we give our tithes and offerings, may we do so with the confidence of victors, knowing that in your love, grace, and compassion, you will have the last word. We pray this in the name of your Son, who bore our sins and who defeated our death. Amen. (Hebrews 9:11-14, 24-28)

Prayer Reflection: Who Could Love Us More?  (Very short, but the spacing seems crucial and is lost when I copy it here, so please go to website.)

Original liturgical resources will be posted here when I get this far; I am behind since my church did not have services on 7/21 due to excessive heat. I hope to have these posted by Tuesday evening, 7/30.!AuB3z496aTHTgal1aLu-13ffpsmjdg

CHILDREN’S SERMON IDEAS. Note: This author of this resource usually advises shielding children from sacrificial images…


EXEGETICAL RESOURCES (beginning with those most likely to yield themes for preaching)

Podcast intro to the Hebrews series from NL: The 2015 podcast is the same.)

Preaching-oriented exposition of the structure of Hebrews 9 from Southwestern Baptist Seminary:

(Lots of potential themes in the discussion questions) Hebrews 9:1-14 Inductive Bible study with teaching points, cross-references and discussion questions from Moody Bible Institute grad who is serving in mission overseas.

Commentary on Hebrews 9:1-14 entitled “God’s Remedy for Guilt.” Uses biblical study tools from a substitutionary atonement perspective. Incl. discussion questions.

Bible study on Hebrews 9:1-14 focusing on OT background from folks from Fuller/Grace Communion International (formerly Worldwide Church of God).

Hebrews 9:1-14 (and beyond) Verse-by-verse word study and cross-reference from US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Hebrews 9:1-14 sermons from a variety of preachers/denominations. Looks like summaries are available for free and you can also get a free trial.

Hebrews 9:1-14 sermon from Reformed Perspectives Magazine (free online weekly publication).  Uses Westminster Confession and Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms as its doctrinal standards. 9:1-14

Hebrews 9:1-14 sermon that focuses on bridging the gap between the culture/religion of the book of Hebrews and Christians today from widely published Bethlehem Baptist Seminary chancellor entitled “Purified to Serve the Living God.”

Commentary on Hebrews 9:11-14 deals with the pitfalls of the “Jesus is better” part of this passage.

A Catholic take on Hebrews 9:11-14 and other blood sacrifice passages

Other articles delving into the theme of atonement/sacrifice can be found at


Audio of 1973 Princeton Seminary sermon on Leviticus 16 and Hebrews 9 on the Yom Kippur practice of praying for the sins of the nation. For more on Yom Kippur and Atonement, see

Video of 40 minute sermon from N. Boston Great Rock Church, a Calvary Chapel community, which is a non-denominational church movement focused on the inerrancy of the Bible and the expository teaching. Has roots in the Jesus movement.

Video of 36 minutes sermon from Pioneer Baptist Church entitled “A Clean Conscience.”

Video of 45 minute teaching from on Hebrews 9:1-14 by Michael Rood (“A Rood Awakening/Shabbat Night Live”) from a Hebrew/Torah perspective. Entitled “The Last Will and Testament of the Earthly Temple.” (NOTE: Didn’t vet the whole video; this TV show teaching seemed interesting, but their overall doctrine includes a focus on 7th day Sabbath and calendar issues.)

Commentary on Hebrews 9:11-14 (RCL for Proper 26B/Ordinary 31B/Pentecost 24-11/4/18) that includes consideration of v. 1-10; focuses on the Ark and on Jesus as the fulfilment/perfection.

Resources for RCL (Hebrews 9:11-14)




































Image above:

Summer Hebrews Series #3: Hebrews 4:14-5:10 [Matthew 26:36-40 (46)] for Narrative Lectionary (July 28, 2019?)

Lord, that I might see!, sculpture in Matyas Church, Budapest, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source. To me, this image could represent the need for a high priest who understands this supplicant.


Also at However, here there were a lot saying “Jesus is better.” To me this feels uncomfortable in that this quote leaves open the possibility that, since we say Jesus is better, we think we are better too. And then there is the whole question of the relationship of Jesus/Christianity to Judaism…


Jesus’ sym/empathy for us results in our being bold before God. Could our sym/empathy for others encourage their boldness? How, then, do we respond to their bold requests? What is the response when boldness is present even when no sym/empathy has been indicated (Frequently not well!)

 The contrast is usually drawn between a high priest who sympathizes and one who does not. (My pastor husband once got a phone call at the church asking, “Are you the pastor who listens?”) But–what about a priest who sympathizes as opposed to all the people who don’t? Where do we go when humans cannot/do not sympathize—or maybe when they cannot/do not even hear our pain/hurt/need?



Meditation on Servanthood*  NOTE these copyright provisions for Sacredise resources:

On this page you will find the latest downloads of the Sacredise Daily Worship guides. Feel free to make copies and distribute these guides in any way you like on the following conditions:

  1. That you do not use them in any way for personal financial gain.
  2. That you acknowledge the authorship and copyright as found in the pdf file.
  3. That you leave the copyright notices and any other notifications intact on any copies you make.


Prayer of Great Thanksgiving (Eucharistic Prayer)                                                                Here is a link to an original eucharistic prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl based on the themes and language of the Hebrews passages that make up the summer Narrative Lectionary series on Hebrews. Please give credit if using/adapting.!AuB3z496aTHTgalit3nYcgaqOmOlZg

Prayer of invocation/opening prayer (from Hebrews 4:14, 5:4-6, The Message)                      Original prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

O God, you call Jesus your own son and celebrate him.                                                          You make him a priest forever, a priest of the royal order.                                                          Through him, you give us ready access to yourself.                                                                Don’t let us lose track of what you have given us.                                                             Remind us today—and every day of what we have in Jesus,                                                    your Son, our High Priest. In his name we pray, Amen.


Call to worship (from Hebrews 4:14-16, The Message)                                                              Original prayer by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

One: We shave a high priest who can understand us.

Many: We have a high priest who is in touch with reality.

We have a high priest who has been through weakness and testing.

We have a high priest who has experienced it all—all but sin.

So we can walk right up to him. We can receive what he is ready to give.

We can take the mercy. We can accept the help.



Rite of Confession

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

Call to Confession (from Hebrews 4:14-16 J.B. Philips version)

We do not have a superhuman High Priest to whom our weaknesses are unintelligible. No! Instead, he himself shared fully in all our experience of temptation, except that he never sinned. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence…

Prayer of Confession: O God, sometimes we act like we don’t know that Jesus has pioneered the way. We forget what it means to follow. We go our own way instead of humbly following your way. We refuse to live by faith, relying instead on what we see. Forgive us. (Silent confession)

Assurance of Pardon: When we come to God, we receive mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need. Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


Prayer: The God who Serves   **See note above re Sacredise copyright


Though you are God,

with all the influence and status that the name implies,

you refused to pull rank,

and parade your power among us.


Instead, you chose to step down into our experience,

living among us, as one of us,

with all the struggle and suffering

that goes with being human.


More than that, you adopted the role of slave,

washing feet, serving people of no reputation or social standing,

and giving of yourself completely.


As incredible as it sounds,

you are the God who serves,

and we can respond in no other way

than to give ourselves to you in praise.




Prayer: Where are the Leaders?**See note above re Sacredise copyright

There are so many people of influence in our world, Jesus,

Those with loud voices and deep pockets,

those with large lives and wide networks.

But, where are the leaders?


As we struggle to keep our broken humanity

from splintering into countless irreparable fragments;

As we wrestle with our greed and arrogance,

our ignorance and short-sightedness,

our violence and coldness,

our carelessness and narcissism,

Where are the leaders?


Raise up for us, O God, leaders worthy of the name,

men and women who like Christ

are unafraid of challenge,

unashamed of serving,

and unattached to their own personal gain;

men and women who like Christ

call to the best within us,

and then lead the way.


And, in our own small spheres, God,

may we be the leaders we seek.



Prayer: Counting the Cost**See note above re Sacredise copyright

How do we do what’s right, Jesus,

when it costs us so much to follow you?

when the good and the true and the beautiful

cannot be purchased

in a ‘buy-now-pay-later’ scheme

as a quick-fix solution to our longing for life?

How do we do what’s right when it takes so much time,

and when the life it brings comes

according to the timetable of eternity,

not the stopwatch of our up-to-the-minute world?


How do our leaders do what’s right, Jesus,

for the weak and marginalised,

for people beyond our borders,

when the cost could be to forfeit their opportunity to lead?


How do our corporations do what’s right, Jesus,

for our suffering planet,

for the rights and needs of the poor,

when the cost could be to lose investors,

and sacrifice the lives of their own workers?


How do our protectors do what’s right, Jesus,

for the broken and desperate,

for our allies and enemies,

when the cost could be to face the attacks

of those they seek to defend?


We need to learn how to do what’s right, Jesus,

our world needs us to learn it;

we need to count the cost of your call,

and measure it against the abundant life you promise.

Help us, in our own small way, to be those who do the right thing,

and in so doing, demonstrate the goodness

that following you brings to all.


PRAYER RECALLING CHRIST’S SAVING WORK From Book of Common Worship (1993). Include the words “Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship , © 1993, Westminster/John Knox.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation,

by your baptism, fasting, and temptation;

and by your proclamation of the kingdom,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By your bloody sweat and bitter grief;

by your cross and suffering;

and by your precious death and burial,

Good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;

by your glorious ascension;

and by the coming of the Holy Spirit,

Good Lord, deliver us.

In our times of trouble;

in our times of prosperity;

in the hour of death,

and on the day of judgment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

CONFESSION OF FAITH-Parts of Westminster Confession & Larger Catechism that refer to themes of our Hebrews passage:!AuB3z496aTHTgalg6V4RG_IFlW0zmg                                                             To use these in worship, it would be best to re-cast them in more modern language, using shorter sentences and “we believe” language. If I end up using any of them in my worship service, I will post my adaptation at the link above.

SERVICE focusing on JESUS AS HIGH PRIEST (from Calvin Institute on Christian Worship); incl. hymns, prayer of intercession and thanksgiving, and sermon ideas

LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF SACRIFICE (interestingly, elsewhere entitled “The Meal of Jesus”)**See note above re Sacredise copyright

WORSHIP SERVICE from Calvin Institute of Christian Worship entitled “Maturing the Soul” based on Hebrews 5.


TWO-VOICED READING of Hebrews 1:5-10


Hymn Suggestions (from
Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus
O Worship The King
O Jesus I Have Promised
Now and Forever
Above All (Link to YouTube video)
That’s Why We Praise Him (Link to YouTube video)
Lord Reign In Me (Link to YouTube video)
Creation’s King

Peace on Earth: A Conversation (available free through Spotify) by Psallos; lyrics right of our passage!

One Small Voice (can change the world, but you better be strong) by Carole King (about being bold!)


For songs below:

PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for Life (children’s songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America;
Great Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)

For the series on Hebrews

“Since Our Great High Priest Christ Jesus” PsH 230
“Before the Throne of God Above” (available on CCLI website, with license)

Additional songs and hymns that fit well with Jesus the High Priest
“Alleluia, Sing to Jesus” PsH 406
“Amazing Grace” PH 280, PsH 462, RL 456, RN 189, SFL 209, TH 460 TWC 502, UMH 378
“And Can It Be” PsH 267, RL 451, RN 193, TH 455, TWC 473, UMH 363
“By the Sea of Crysta” PsH 620, TH 549
“Hail the Day” PsH 409, RL 331, TH 290, TWC 258, UMH 312
“In Christ Alone” (copyright 2002 Thankyou Music, available through CCLI)
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” PH 376, PsH 568, RN 196, RL 464, TH 529, TWC 558, UMH 384
“My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” TWC 517
“Now Behold the Lamb” SNC 144
“O For a Thousand Tongues” PH 466, PsH 501, RL 362/363, RN 32, SFL 19, TH 164, TWC 130 UMH 57
“Savior Like a Shepherd” PH 387, PsH 591, TH 599, TWC 522, UMH 381
“Since Our Great High Priest Christ Jesus” PsH 230
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” PH 403, PsH 579, RL 507, SFL 52, TH 629, TWC 622
“What Wondrous Love” PH 85, PsH 379, RN 277, SFL 169, TH 261, TWC 212, UMH 292
“When Peace Like a River” PsH 489, TH 691, TWC 519 UMH 37

From the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990)


Hebrews 4.14–5.10

83 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High (boldface means whole hymn is pertinent)

144.3+4 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! (.3+4 means verses 3 and 4 are particularly pertinent)



28.2 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

63.2 As with Gladness Men of Old

81 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

110 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

112.3 Christ the Lord Is Risen Again

141 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

154 Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor

341 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

381 O Come Unto the Lord

395 Have Mercy, Lord, on Me (Take Pity, Lord)

403 What a Friend We Have in Jesus

465.4 Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather

470.3 O Day of Radiant Gladness

485R To God Be the Glory

566 Glory to God in the Highest (Gloria in Excelsis)

575.6 Glory to God in the Highest (Gloria in Excelsis)



86 When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

348.3 Christian Women, Christian Men

360.3+5 Hope of the World

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

416.1 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

417.1 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

419 How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord

442.3+4 The Church’s One Foundation

443.1 O Christ, the Great Foundation

461.4 God is Here!

538.2 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing



27.1 Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

49.3 Once in Royal David’s City

62.2 Bring We the Frankincense of Our Love

72.3 When Jesus Came to Jordan

77.1 Forty Days and Forty Nights

80 Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

81.2 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

83.2 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

97.1 Go to Dark Gethsemane

108.3 Christ is Alive!

298.1 There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy

308.2 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem

331.3 Thanks to God Whose Word Was Written

338 Kum ba Yah

406.1 Why Has God Forsaken Me?



150.2 Come, Christians, Join to Sing

212.4 Within Your Shelter, Loving God

251.3 Your Faithfulness, O Lord, Is Sure

261 God of Compassion, in Mercy Befriend Us

269.2 O God of Bethel, by Whose Hand

296.3 Walk On, O People of God

298 There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy

301 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

303 Jesus, Lover of My Soul

333.2 Seek Ye First

354 Guide My Feet

356.3 Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

363 I Want Jesus to Walk with Me

376 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

383 My Faith Looks Up to Thee

387 Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

404 Precious Lord, Take My Hand

416.3 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

417.3 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

457 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

489 Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty



70 Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized

72 When Jesus Came to Jordan



159.3 Why Are Nations Raging *



296 Walk On, O People of God



97.1 Go to Dark Gethsemane

406 Why Has God Forsaken Me?



72.3 When Jesus Came to Jordan

103 Deep Were His Wounds, and Red

107 Celebrate with Joy and Singing

123.3 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

299.6 Amen, Amen

308.4 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem

355 Hear the Good News of Salvation

359 More Love to Thee, O Christ

366 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

378 Make Me a Captive, Lord

388 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389 O Jesus, I Have Promised

391 Take My Life

392 Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord

393 Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said

457 I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art

466 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

598 This Is the Good News

Psalm 104
Dying To Power
Justice, Power and the Kingdom



In Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer, by Tonya Bolden, a little boy saying his bedtime prayers becomes the high priest praying for people all around his city.  Read this book today to connect prayers of intercession with being a priest like Jesus.  Before reading note that the moon is what everyone in the story sees, but urge worshipers to listen more to the little boy’s prayers than to the moon.  Reads aloud in 2 minutes.  Note: Children may need an alternative to “high priest,” such as minister, pastor, bridge, translator, representative, prayer “warrior.”


One could even briefly tell the story of Cyrano deBergerac and explain needing someone else to speak for you—do they know of anyone/any time when someone needs another person to speak for them? How does Jesus do this for us (with a better ending) and why?





4:14-5:10 NL context. ”Passage includes an odd pair of words: sympathy and boldness…”


4:14-5:10 In the context of Cancer Awareness Day; addresses sympathy, boldness, and mercy & grace. From the African-American Lectionary.


4:14-5:10 Sermonic outline, suggested links, books, articles, song and video for use of exact pericope in Holy Thursday/footwashing context; from the African-American lectionary.  Possible titles: “Jesus, High Priest for All People”; “A High Priest Who Understands” or “Incarnate, Intermediary and Intercessor.”


4:14-5:10 Commentary on this exact pericope! “Faithful Christian living is not about trying harder; it is about trusting more.” This is from an ATLA article, likely available through alumnae services from your seminary if you attended one:


4:14-5:10 2011 audio sermon from Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, TX. Also sermons on the others in our series.


4:14-5:10 1984 audio sermon on our pericope emphasizing obedience and being content to be a servant

4:14-5:10 Verse-by-verse commentary. Calls the passage “Jesus, Our Sympathetic High Priest,” with these subtitles (potential themes) for verses/sections. Each section also has questions for consideration.

4:14: Hold fast to your confession                                                                                                4:15 A Sympathetic High Priest                                                                                                    4:16 Approaching the Throne of Grace (Word study on mercy, grace, help, timely help) 5:1-4 Qualifications for a High Priest                                                                                                5:1-3 A Gentle High Priest                                                                                                               5:4-6 A Priest in the Order of Melchizedek                                                                                      5:7 Jesus’ Cries to God Were Heard (?)                                                                                              5:8 Learning Obedience Through Suffering. This can be problematic in that is tends to idealize suffering without giving the sufferer (and others) the right to protest/seek change/etc.                                                                                                                                         5:9-10 Being Made Perfect                                                                                                              5:9-10 Source of Eternal Salvation

Uses reputable albeit older commentaries (footnoted)

Hebrews 4:14-5:10 Meditation (with a prayer) on Jesus as High Priest

 Hebrews 4:14-5:10 is RCL for Good Friday A/B/C; see

4:14-5:10 with cross-references footnoted           

4:14-5:10 Brief but verse-by-verse with word study:

4:14-5:10 Verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary (Sunday School Context)

Hebrews 4:12-16 is RCL for Proper 23B/Ordinary 28B/Pentecost 21

Hebrews 4:14-16 devotionals                                          

Hebrews 5:1-10 In the context of the book of Hebrews (and, from 2015, leading-up-to-the-elections!) Incls. theological issues & two illustrations

Hebrews 5:1-10 sermon from Eugenia Gamble, PC(USA) highlighting suffering through an extended real-life illustration. Addresses question of whether we are to seek out suffering.

Hebrews 5:1-10 Sacrificial understanding of Lord’s Supper. From United Methodist perspective.

Hebrews 5:1-10 Jesus as High Priest (Working Preacher RCL)

Hebrews 5:1-10 Vulnerability of Jesus, religious leaders, & people of faith (Working Preacher RCL)

Hebrews 5:1-10 What does greatness mean? Addresses global and local application.

Hebrews 5:1-10 The job of high priest & Jesus’ qualifications. Illustration for the incarnation.

Hebrews 5:1-10 For a relationship to exist between God and God’s people, as well as among groups and between individuals, things must be repaired and restored between us; the only way that can happen is if God does it. (Roman Catholic context/examples.)

Hebrews 5:5-10 is RCL for Lent 5B and Proper 24B/Ordinary 29B; the textweek entry itself is labeled 5:1-10

Hebrews 5:5-10 devotionals                                                                                                          Mar 14, 2018  Hebrews 5:5-10. What shape will the new covenant take? Who is this God who is present for us, full of mercy and eager to welcome us back.

Mar 18, 2015  Hebrews 5:5-10. One of my favorite Sunday school activities is for children to go all around the church and see how many crosses they can find.

Dec. 19, 2018…5:5-10 My three-year-old will not be good at Advent this year. He does not like waiting. As anyone with a toddler knows, patience is…      

 Overview of Hebrews and word-based commentary on Hebrews 5:5-10 from Working Preacher; RCL (Holy Week) context; also addresses larger context of 4:16-5:10.

There are many more resources for Hebrews 5:5-10 if you decide to focus there. Try a search on for that specific passage.

Summer Hebrews Series #2: Hebrews 2:10-18 (Matthew 12:46-50) for Narrative Lectionary (July 21, 2019?)

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Collect form

One commentator notes that Hebrews consists essentially of three things: Scriptural quotes/interpretation, theology, and exhortation. To me, this boils down to who God is/what God does and who we are and what we need to do/can do. This relates to the possibility of looking at Hebrews through the construct of a Collect, an originally Latin Roman Catholic prayer a particular form, basically consisting of an address of God that mentions the attributes of God that relate to the petition (O God, who….) and then a petition (empower us….) and a purpose clause (so that…). We are referring to this as “Who God is and what God does, and what we need and why.” This seems to encompass a lot of the book of Hebrews as it develops its theology of who God is and what God does in order to talk about what we need to do/can do and why. [For a more detailed explanation of the form of a collect (with 5 parts, adding an address of God, a conclusion calling on the mediation of Christ and an Amen) see



This pericope is set for the first Sunday of Christmas in the RCL. (My husband and I are planning a Christmas in July for the last Sunday of the month; you could pair this whole series with Christmas/incarnation themes).


The folks at Working Preacher have commentaries for both the NL and the Christmas setting; this link has a few lines from each commentary and the links to each of them.




For the Christmas setting, see also


Vv. 10-12

Verses 5-12 were included in the RCL with 1:1-4. See

and the blog from last week for details.


Other exegetical resources for Hebrews 2 are at the bottom of this blog…



HYMNS for Hebrews 2:10-18

(Numbers are from the Presbyterian Hymnal/1990)


180 The God of Heaven

185.5-10 Psalm 33 (The .5-10 means verses 5-10 are particularly pertinent)

224 Bless the Lord, My Soul and Being

267 All Things Bright and Beautiful

271.1 Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Things

288 I Sing the Mighty Power of God

290 God Created Heaven and Earth

293 This Is My Father’s World

294 Wherever I May Wander

455 All Creatures of Our God and King

467.1+2 How Great Thou Art



11.3 O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?

75.1+4 O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair

140.2 Holy, Holy

155.3 Rejoice, the Lord Is King

341 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

346.2 Christ, You Are the Fullness

388.4 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389.4 O Jesus, I Have Promised

426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak

441.5 I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

485 To God Be the Glory

492.3 Baptized in Water

518.4 Sheaves of Summer



385.3 O God, We Bear the Imprint of Your Face



55.4 That Boy-Child of Mary  (Bold type means the whole hymns is particularly pertinent)

157.1 Our King and Our Sovereign, Lord Jesus

518.4 Sheaves of Summer



4.2 Creator of the Stars of Night

5.2 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

14.1 Savior of the Nations, Come

27 Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

29.3 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

36.2 In the Bleak Midwinter

41.2 O Come, All Ye Faithful

49.2+3 Once in Royal David’s City



9.2 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

14.2 Savior of the Nations, Come

20.3 Watchman, Tell Us of the Night

26 Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

28.3 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

31.3 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

32 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

90.2 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!

91.2 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!

105 Because You Live, O Christ

107 Celebrate with Joy and Singing

108 Christ is Alive!

109 Christ Is Risen

110 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

112 Christ the Lord Is Risen Again

113 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!

118 The Day of Resurrection!

119.2 The Strife Is O’er

120R Hail Thee, Festival Day!

121.3 That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright

155.2 Rejoice, the Lord Is King

165.4+5 When in the Night I Meditate

281.3 Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

290.4 God Created Heaven and Earth

360.5 Hope of the World

383 My Faith Looks Up to Thee

406 Why Has God Forsaken Me?

495 We Know That Christ Is Raised

533.2 O Perfect Love

538.3 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

540.4 God Be with You Till We Meet Again

582 Dying, You Destroyed Our Death (Memorial Acclamation)

601.5 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)



3.1 Comfort, Comfort You My People

26 Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

85 What Wondrous Love Is This

103 Deep Were His Wounds, and Red

140.3 Holy, Holy

144.1+4 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

296.2 Walk On, O People of God

341.1 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

355 Hear the Good News of Salvation

395.2+3 Have Mercy, Lord, on Me (Take Pity, Lord)

466 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

467.3 How Great Thou Art

485.1 To God Be the Glory



77.1 Forty Days and Forty Nights

80 Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

81.2 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

83.2 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

97.1 Go to Dark Gethsemane

360.3 Hope of the World

388.2 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389.2 O Jesus, I Have Promised

403 What a Friend We Have in Jesus





Complete sermon on the pericope (2nd one on the page); Christmas context


Audio sermon from Princeton Seminary on the Fellowship of Suffering


Another audio from Princeton, this one says it’s the worship service but it’s only 21 mins long so maybe not; with Chuck Colson reflecting on being in prison


Typed sermon from Arthur Landwehr sermon collection. “God Give So You Can,” Hebrews 2:9-13. Refers to a novel from 1964! Methodist pastor in Chicago.


45 minute audio of 1956 sermon from Princeton on Hebrews 2 addressing the faithfulness of God


An order of worship around Hebrews 2 from Calvin Symposium on Worship

The theme that year was Hebrews, so other pages may be of interest for the series.



This set of prayers has one for each verse of Hebrews 2


Offering prayer from UMC Discipleship

Dear God, for whom and through whom all things exist, you are the Sovereign of the universe! Yet you have named us among your beloved children and call us to live as brothers and sisters of Christ. On this World Communion Sunday, we rejoice that you gather us around the Table of your Son, the risen Lord. May our offerings reach out to bring hope and grace to our near and distant neighbors, whom you know and love. We pray in the most excellent name of Jesus. Amen. (Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12)


Reflection with prayer on the exact passage:


Worship pieces (prayers, etc.) based on Hebrews 1-2,




(See bottom of page for exegetical resources for Hebrews 2)

My husband, who is preaching this next Sunday, felt like the assigned Hebrews pericope had a lot of overlapping themes with Psalm 69, which he also preached. See blog for 6/23 at for those themes to see if you agree and if any of those resources are helpful.


He is actually preaching Isaiah 40:25-31 and Hebrews 2:1-4 instead, with a theme of God not being done yet/who will pass the story on? Here’s the liturgical resources I wrote for those passages:


Call to Worship (for “other possibilities”; from Isaiah 40:27-28)

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.


Don’t you know?

   Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God;
he created all the world.
He never grows tired or weary.
     He strengthens those who are weak and tired.
Those who trust in the Lord for help are renewed
We rise on wings like eagles.
   We will run and not get weary;
We will walk and not grow weak.



Prayer of Confession

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

O God, at times we allow ourselves to be distracted.

We forget to look for your work in the world.

We slide away from you, drawn by other pastures.

Forgive us. Re-focus and strengthen us.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Assurance of Pardon

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

We rejoice in the great salvation first announced by the Lord Jesus himself, and passed down to us by those who heard him speak. Thanks be to God for the Good News:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


Hymns (for the “other possibilities”)

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

How Great Thou Art

Lift High the Cross

I Love to Tell the Story

On Eagles’ Wings


BULLETIN COVER (for the “other possibilities”)

We are using a photo of the congregation (serendipitously taken today!) to illustrate “Who is passing the story on.”




Hebrews 2:10 on Jesus our Pioneer


Hebrews 2:14 on the incarnation



The ones below were targeted for my husband’s sermon on Hebrews 2:1-4, but you can access the later verses on most of them as well….


Contextualization of Hebrews 2 in the larger context of Hebrews and the whole Bible


Word study & devotional application of Hebrews 2


Sproul’s verse-by-verse exposition of Hebrews 2


Verse by verse commentary from a Free Methodist church


Sermon notes from Blue Letter Bible




Analysis drawing on a variety of commentators incl. word(s) study, discussions of other pertinent scriptural texts, illustrations & an extended section on “drifting away”

Summer Hebrews Series #1-Hebrews 1:1-4 and John 1:1-5 (7/12/19?)

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Note: We are planning a “Christmas in July” for 7/28. In fact, Hebrews and John 1 are together in the RCL for Christmas; see resources below–and the incarnational themes for Hebrews could lead to a twinning of Christmas/Advent themes and Hebrews throughout this series.

INTRODUCTION  to Hebrews summer Narrative Lectionary series:

From the RCL, which also includes verses from chapter 2 in its pericope, this commentary answers the question “Why preach a series on Hebrews” and talks incarnation.  Also gives two illustrations, one from Kierkegaard and the other from The Man Which Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales.

Book of Hebrews resources:



Opening prayer of adoration:

1:1-4 and 2:5-12 for two readers                                                                                                  

Original prayers:

Opening Prayer   by  Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

God, you have spoken, and you continue to speak, to your people.

Reveal Christ Jesus to us this day as your Son and heir.

In him, reveal to us your glory and your very self,

that we may be purified and sustained by him,

sharing in his life and light. In his name,

the name above all others, we pray, Amen.

CALL TO WORSHIP (from Hebrews 1 and John 1 The Message)                                                by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

One: The Word came first.

Many: The Word was with God and the Word was God.

By his Son, God created the world in the beginning.

Everything was created through the Word.

Nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him

and it will all belong to the Son at the end.

The Son perfectly mirrors God.

He is stamped with God’s nature.

He holds everything together by what he says,

His Life is the Light to live by.                                                                                      

The Life-Light blazes out of the darkness

and the darkness cannot put it out.

ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD.              

RITE OF CONFESSION  by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

*Call to Confession:

God sent Jesus to light our way, but at times we stumble about cursing the darkness instead of using the light that God provides, and so we seek God’s forgiveness.

*Prayer of Confession                                                                                        Reader O God, you give us glimpses of your light,                                                               but sometimes, instead of following you, we stumble around on our own.                        We accept poor imitations of your light.                                                                     We try to catch your light and hold it,                                                                      so that we do not have to always look to you.                                                                         You speak the words that give and sustain life,                                                                             but we listen to the noise around us instead.

Forgive us. Give us eyes to see and ears to listen. (Silent Confession)

*Assurance of Pardon (from Psalm 40, The Message)                                Pastor Barb                                                     When Jesus had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor              at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. And so we give thanks and praise                 to God for the Good News:   In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.





OTHER IMAGES for bulletins/powerpoints



For preaching series on Hebrews:

Remaining Faithful to Jesus: “The Neglected Gift”

God’s proud parent speech

CRAFT PROJECT/Sunday School:   By His Own Mighty Word He Holds the Universe Together



Hymnary search at





The Lutheran Hymnal

Hebrews 1:06  Hark! Ten Thousand Harps and Voices.


At Digital Hymnal (midi files, guitar chords, karaoke files, projection text):

Memorizing scripture through song: Hebrews 1:1-3        

Presbyterian Hymnal (1990)

331.1+3 Thanks to God Whose Word Was Written
255.4-6 Now Praise the Lord
327 O Word of God Incarnate
330 Deep in the Shadows of the Past
222.7 Psalm 103
319.2 Spirit
309 Of the Father’s Love Begotten
4 Creator of the Stars of Night
74 Jesus on the Mountain Peak
75 O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair
83 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High
133 All Glory Be to God on High
137.2 We All Believe in One True God
346.1 Christ, You Are the Fullness
474 O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
10.4 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry
31.2 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
36.2 In the Bleak Midwinter
41.2 O Come, All Ye Faithful
49.2 Once in Royal David’s City
52.2 Sheep Fast Asleep
54.3 From Heaven Above
55.5 That Boy-Child of Mary
57.4 The Snow Lay on the Ground
60.3 Silent Night, Holy Night
74.4 Jesus on the Mountain Peak
75.3 O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair
139.2 Come, Thou Almighty King
148.1 At the Name of Jesus
412.5 Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds
454 Blessed Jesus, at Your Word
485 To God Be the Glory
512.1 Living Word of God Eternal
41 O Come, All Ye Faithful
42 O Come, All Ye Faithful
141 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing
142 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!
143 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!
150 Come, Christians, Join to Sing
153 He Is King of Kings                                                                                                                      306 Fairest Lord Jesus
477 Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim
566 Glory to God in the Highest (Gloria in Excelsis)
575.6 Glory to God in the Highest (Gloria in Excelsis)
133.3 All Glory Be to God on High
203.1 God of Mercy, God of Grace
263 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
412.5 Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds
474 O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
519.4 Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior, Thee
548.1+2 O Radiant Light, O Sun Divine
549.1 O Gladsome Light
550.1 O Light Whose Splendor Thrills
110.1 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands
147 Blessing and Honor
151 Crown Him with Many Crowns
155 Rejoice, the Lord Is King
308.4 O Sing a Song of Bethlehem
466.3 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
154.3 Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor
341.1 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!
492.1 Baptized in Water
133.2 All Glory Be to God on High
194.2 Peoples, Clap Your Hands!
148.3 At the Name of Jesus

4.3 Creator of the Stars of Night
19.4 To a Maid Engaged to Joseph
142.1 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!
143.1 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!
147.2 Blessing and Honor
148 At the Name of Jesus
260.2 A Mighty Fortress is Our God
310.2 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
311.2 We Meet You, O Christ
346.3 Christ, You Are the Fullness
371R Lift High the Cross
395.3 Have Mercy, Lord, on Me (Take Pity, Lord)
442.2 The Church’s One Foundation
466.2+4 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
477.1 Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim
498.3 Child of Blessing, Child of Promise
500.3 Become to Us the Living Bread
504.1 Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether
515.3 Now to Your Table Spread
539.1 Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise
548.2 O Radiant Light, O Sun DivineEXEGESIS

Christological questions from the passage:

Brief overview of Hebrews & our passage; also includes John 1                                                 This same author also publishes his leftover, more technical word-study type notes Again still yet includes John 1. See

Commentary from the passage’s use for RCL at Christmas focuses on  “What’s His Name,” allowing readers to listen in on God’s announcement of the name of his Son,                                 At Christmas, the RCL also includes John 1:1-14, for that commentary see

Another commentary from the Christmas context; this one addresses the wisdom underpinnings of the passage, Jesus as Logos/logic,  and even mentions John 1! Also addresses Jesus as the anointed king.

This passage is also in the RCL for 22B (October, 2018), This Working Preacher commentary takes up the challenges of the NRSV’s inclusive language translation, which loses the concept of “Son of Man,” thus truncating some of the meaning of Hebrews’ discussion of incarnation.

This one addresses the concept of Jesus as trailblazer using Harriet Tubman as an example. Also touches on the problem of the NRSV’s lack of the phrase “Son of Man.”

From the RCL context, this commentary introduces the book of Hebrews as well as discussing 1:1-4 (and 2:5-12). For chapter 1, it focuses on the word given the prophets, Christ as the Word, and the nature of the Son.

Exhortation against lack of commitment; addresses 1;1-4 but continues through 2:12.

Hebrews as providing hope/the big picture (Christmas context)

Incarnation plus pre-existence and exaltation (Heb. 1:1-12 in Christmas context)

Christmas Reflection: Alone with the Stars                               


Image result for bulletin cover hebrews 1:1-4

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