Friday, November 7, 2008

Feast of All Saints (aka "All Hallows") November 2nd

First lesson. Revelation 7: They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Psalm 34: Fear the Lord, you that are his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing that is good.

Second lesson. 1 John 3: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.

Gospel. Matthew 5. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

Sermon: Through Word and Sacrament, God changes us. God’s power changes us—broken and sinful people—into symbols of faith and hope for a broken world. When the eucharist is ended and we go out of the doors of this place, our true ministries begin. Out there, in the world, where we live and work and play—there is where the faith of the saints becomes a visible sign to the world of God’s love.

Do we ever get it right? No. Not on this side of eternity. We stumble along, trying to follow the examples of the saints who have gone before us. As the apostle John writes, “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.” So we are not yet what we are going to be. Yet even now, as God’s beloved children, our faith is a sign to the world. We are the saints of God, and we know we are the saints of God. Not perfect saints. Not finished saints. Not all that we are meant to be. Not all that we are going to be. But saints, made in the Imago Dei—the image of God.

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