Day 227 | Sunday, 1 November 2020
If we remembered, we turned our clocks back one hour as we enter standard time. We also say goodbye to October and welcome in November. If anyone would like me to share Holy Communion with you today, please respond. I will be coming around late morning.
In the church year, today is All Saints Sunday. Many churches take time on this Sunday to remember members and friends who have died over the past year. You might take a moment to remember family and friends who have physically left this earth but whose spirits live on in you today.
The assigned Scripture lessons for All Saints Sunday are: Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Revelation 7:9-17 and Matthew 5:1-12.
Revelation 7:9-17 The great crowd and seventh seal
9 After this I looked, and there was a great crowd that no one could number. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out with a loud voice: “Victory belongs to our God
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels stood in a circle around the throne, and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell face-down before the throne and worshiped God,
“Amen! Blessing and glory
and wisdom and thanksgiving
and honor and power and might
be to our God forever and always. Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders said to me, “Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
Then he said to me, “These people have come out of great hardship. They have washed their robes and made them white in the Lamb’s blood.
15 This is the reason they are before God’s throne. They worship him day and night in his temple, and the one seated on the throne will shelter them.
16 They won’t hunger or thirst anymore. No sun or scorching heat will beat down on them,
17 because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Today is All Saints’ Sunday, that time of the church year when we remember the saints, all of them. But please note, when we use the word saints, in a biblical way, we are not just talking about the dear departed ones whose names we remember today. The Bible uses saints to refer to the faithful, all the faithful, not just those who have died and, as we say, “have gone on to their reward,” but also those of us who are here, now, still busy living into whatever award awaits us. All Saints’ is therefore not just a time to think about the dead, but also about the living, all the saints.
A person is properly designated as a “saint,” not when that person succeeds in living a strenuously virtuous life, but whenever God commandeers that person’s life, whenever that person embodies, at least to some degree, what God really wants for that person’s life, here, now.
Lord, we give thanks for all your saints, for those whose faith was tested and found to be certain and sure. We thank you for those saints who suffered because of their commitment to you and did not waver, even in adversity. We give you thanks for the saints who were great and the not so great, the courageous and faithful, the bold ones and even the timid ones who loved you in their own time and place. Amen.