Here we are again locked down, and I find myself relying on the internet more than ever before. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want it our way, right away. For example, Is your internet too slow? Get high-speed internet ! Does it take too long to put fuel in your car? Pay at the pump! Is snail-mail
really that slow? Send email . Is your fast food not so fast enough? We eat and talk on the phone in our cars. We microwave our meals, and we have overnight-express delivery of our packages! We live in an impatient world and have no desire to look forward to things to come.
But on All Saints Day, this is we confess as Christians that We look to the eternal city, a paradise of God, an eternity of rest and being with the Lord which is i l lust rated in books of John and Revelation. We may not have it yet ; however , one day, we will be resurrected and enjoy the beauty and splendour of the new Jerusalem. But for now, we walk by faith, not by sight , confessing the eternal joys of life to come while struggling in this sin-filled world of death. Halloween celebrates death and all l things dark, while All Saints celebrates the Light of Life!
Apart from living with lockdowns and the constant threat and fear of COVID-19, one great struggle we face as Christians is that we think we should have all this peace and rest right now. No waiting. We think that because we are Christians, God should bless and reward us with a lack of problems and sickness. There are assumptions that Christians should not have trouble paying their bills, with their marriages or difficulties raising their children. All the peace and joy and bliss of heaven ought to be ours immediately, instantly, and right now, and when we don’ t , we wonder what ‘s wrong. In these trying times, we don’ t feel much l like saints of God, do we? Why?
However , God identifies us as Saints and defines our life as holy. His Word tells us what ” real life” is like as a Christian and at the same time comforts those who receive this Word. “Blessed are the poor in spirit , theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who mourn; they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are persecuted for my sake. ” Since we’ re celebrating All Saints Day, let ‘s be very clear first of all about “saints. ” A saint is a holy person. Those who are in Christ through Holy Baptism, fed by the Holy Communion and preached the Holy Word, by the Holy Spirit through the Holy Ministry: those are the saints. You are saints. When we celebrate All Saints Day, we are recognizing that al l of us are saints in God’s sight through Christ , who lived for us, died for us and rose for us. By your confession of faith in Jesus, and Baptism into Christ makes you a saint . Eating and drinking the Sacraments by faith in Christ makes you a saint . You are being absolved of your sins makes you a saint . But saints, dear saints, are poor , mourning, harassed, hungering, struggling saints. In this life, the path of sainthood–that is, of being a Christian–is one of hardship and sorrow that does not bring with it the ” instant gratification” that our world tries to sell us. The saints described by Christ are poor in spirit . That means they have nothing to bring before God expect themselves. They have nothing to show how well off they are. They have a power ty of spirit , empty, nothing. Yet they have Christ , for ” to such is the kingdom of God. ” They mourn over their sins. They are troubled and frightened by their lack of faith, they are grieved and sorrowful because they do not live to serve their neighbours in love. Such sin causes them to shed tears of repentance. The Comforter , the Holy Spirit comforts them by delivering to them Baptism and the Word of God and the body and blood of Jesus. In the Beatitudes, in short , Jesus describes those who are troubled by sins, frightened by death, suffering for His Name, and who have nothing in themselves and their lives to cling to; rather , these saints have only Christ and the promise of His future blessings. the COVID-19 world offers us little to look forward to, but in Christ , we have a marvellous future and a hope, so let ‘s Celebrate! ! !
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UNTIL NEXT TIME…..