(Click the link above to read the passage)
(Click above to listen to the full sermon)
Like many churches on All Saints Sunday, we read the list of names of people who died during this past year. We often call them “saints” even though we are aware that not one of them was a perfect person. All of them were under construction to the day they died.
We also read the names of those baptized here at Prince of Peace this year, thankfully, a much longer list. We often call all the faithful, “saints” in this Protestant sense with no illusion that any of us are perfect.
Given the inescapable fact of our imperfection, how dare we trust that all will be well in the end? How dare we trust that all is well for the names of imperfect people we read aloud on Sunday? How dare we trust it for ourselves, fallen and falling as we are?
And how can we hold on to this hope when we get home from worship to learn that a man shot and killed twenty-six people in a small church in a little Texas town that same morning?
On All Saints Sunday, we were reminded at Prince of Peace that all who are in Christ, those living now, here and everywhere, and those who have lived in the past and died, all are somehow gathered in Christ and are present and accounted for in the sacrament, with us around a table that spans both time and space. This is the “communion of the saints” that we so often sing about.
I closed the sermon with the passage from Revelation which was given to strengthen and encourage the church during a time of great fear and violence. I encourage you to read the passage again. Oh, how we need that Word now.
Lord give all your saints the courage and faith to hold on to your gracious promises as you continue to hold onto each of us.
…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. Revelation 7:17.
Questions to ponder or discuss:
This feels like a good week to think deeply about the good news of the gospel and the gracious promises that we gather around every week. Listen again to Sunday’s message and spend some time with both passages linked above.
See you in church!