All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, 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; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. – Hebrews 11:13-16 (NRSV)
God of Beyond,
Your promises echo from over the hills,
calling us to a place we cannot now go;
Yet we feel them drawing us forward,
like magnet draws iron.
No bus can transport us there,
and no jet can fly us over the crests of those mountains;
Yet, somehow we know we have a home
where fire warms hearth and all is right and good.
Here we receive those promises in part;
We know warmth and goodness;
And we know chill and cruelty:
Unfulfilled hope—desires that never see earthly light.
Grant us the nobility of faith:
vision that transcends the barrier;
And that fixes our eyes
beyond the timeline of human lifespan.
May we glimpse the homeland city
you have prepared as gift
for those who, by faith, are yours.