Today's New Testament reading is from Hebrews 6, where we are taught / reminded of the certain hope of God's promises in Christ Jesus:
God wouldn’t change his plan. He wanted to make this perfectly clear to those who would receive his promise, so he took an oath. God did this so that we would be encouraged. God cannot lie when he takes an oath or makes a promise. These two things can never be changed. Those of us who have taken refuge in him hold on to the confidence we have been given. We have this confidence as a sure and strong anchor for our lives. This confidence goes into the ⌊holy⌋ place behind the curtain where Jesus went before us on our behalf. He has become the chief priest forever in the way Melchizedek was a priest.
--Heb 6.17-20 GW
Instead of my own ramblings this morning, I want to include a lengthy quote by St. John Chrysostom, the 4th century bishop of Constantinople. His writings are always good, but his thoughts on this passage are exceptional 1:
Paul shows that while we are still in the world and not yet departed from this life, we are already living amid God’s promises. For through hope we are already in heaven.… As the anchor, dropped from the vessel, does not allow it to be carried about even if ten thousand winds agitate it but, being depended upon, makes it steady, so also does hope.
Note what a fitting image he has chosen. He did not speak of a foundation, which would not be suitable, but of an anchor. For that which is on the tossing sea and seems not to be very firmly fixed stands on the water as upon land and is shaken and yet is not moved. For in regard to those who are very firm and who love the truth, Christ with good reason spoke of one who “has built his house on a rock.” But in respect of those who are giving way and who ought to be carried through by hope, Paul has more suitably set down this metaphor. For the surge and the great storm toss the boat, but hope does not permit it to be carried back and forth, although winds innumerable agitate it, so that, unless we had this hope we should long ago have been sunk. Nor is it only in things spiritual, but also in the affairs of this life, that one may find the power of hope great. Whatever it may be, in merchandise, in husbandry, in a military expedition, unless one sets this before him, he would not even touch the work. But he said not simply “anchor,” but “sure and steadfast,” not shaken.
--John Chrysostom, On the Epistle to the Hebrews, quoted from Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture