Hebrews 11:33–40 (Listen)
33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,1 they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Hymn: TLH 552, st. 8: Abide With Me
8. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes,
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!
Hymn: TLH 481, st. 4: Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow
4. Onward, therefore, pilgrim brothers!
Onward, with the cross our aid!
Bear its shame and fight its battle
Till we rest beneath its shade.
Soon shall come the great awaking,
Soon the rending of the tomb,
Then the scattering of all shadows,
And the end of toil and gloom.