On this All Saints Sunday, we pause and remember our loved ones who have gone before us. We remember those who faithfully lived in God’s ways. We look to them, to our ancestors, for guidance.
We are reminded of the faithfulness of our ancestors, who crossed the Red Sea and the Jordan, when water was a barrier between oppression and liberation, between the past and the future with hope. We also remember the prophets, who spoke and prayed during times of drought and hardship where there was no water, and God provided the wellsprings to rise up.
We remember how the prophets spoke against those who took advantage of others for political gain and wealth-a warning that we had well heed today. We remember that God is with us in all seasons, during times of flood and drought, during times of life and death, during times of hopelessness and times of blessing.
God calls us blessed when we are downtrodden and poor in spirit, when we are meek, when we are feeling rejected and persecuted and have given up. God does not give up on us, but is in the journey with us, and will see us through.
John saw a multitude from every nation that no one could count, of all tribes and languages, praising and glorifying God. All the angels worshiped God. One of the elders speaks to John, telling him that these are the ones who have come through the great ordeal, they have washed their robes in the blood of the lamb to be pure, and now worship God day and night.
God is their shelter, and they will hunger and thirst no more, and God will wipe away all their tears.
All who are God’s beloved are children of God and become like God. The world did not know God, so the world does not know the faithful. Those who know God still do not know the fullness of God or who they will become, but right now, we are all children of God. Those who have this hope will purify themselves to be ready before God, for God is pure.
Jesus teaches his disciples that those who are poor, mourning, pure in heart, working for peace, desperate for justice and persecuted for following Christ are the ones God blesses.
Prayer of Brokenness
Ancient of Days, we have failed to learn the lessons of our ancestors. We have failed to follow their footsteps in faith. Instead of gaining wisdom, we often repeat their folly. We tune out the teachings of old, thinking we know better, but fall into the same traps of worldly fame and success.
Call out to us, O God, through the prophets of old who spoke truth to power. Call out to us, O God, through the wisdom of the sages that continues to tug at our hearts. Call out to us, O God, in the needs of our neighbors, reminding us that when we love one another, we love You best.
In the name of Christ, who came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it, who came to show us how to live into Your ways, we pray. Amen.