Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; All Saints Sunday; November 1, 2015

Scriptures for this Sunday are: 1  John 3:1-3 // Matthew 5:1-12

You can read these Scriptures here: NIV2010 and ESV

Hymns For this Sunday

UMH 57 – O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing

UMH 145 – Morning Has Broken

UMH 314 – In The Garden

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Today is All Saints Day; it always falls on November 1. Usually churches observe All Saints Sunday; the Sunday that follows November 1. This year All-Saints Day and All-Saints Sunday coincide.

When we hear the word “saint,” a certain image comes to mind. We think of a person with an angelic smile who makes huge contributions to the well-being of their neighbors with the foreknowledge that they will be rewarded with their image on a stained glass window somewhere sometime. If you Google an image of a saint you will discover that some of them are depicted with a pious smile and eyes towards heaven while others have a stern look on their face, as if they are grieved deeply with the frivolity of our lives.

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There is a certain disconnect between the images of saints that we find in various art traditions and the pages of the Bible. In the Bible, the saints are described as normal men and women who are fully aware that they are understood and forgiven by God; who act upon that wonderful knowledge with ALL of their lives, without angling for stained-glass window status. If we read biographies of Saints, we will discover that they were men and women who relished their lives as a gift from God. Sometime during their lives, they realized that the only way to honor God’s gift of life and God’s Grace in their lives was to give it away by dedicating ALL of their lives to God’s service. Their relationship with God, their intimate understanding of God, helped these men and women to take an extra step beyond just being a part of a Church, beyond just sitting in a pew on a Sunday morning. That extra step was becoming a new creation: a new creation in heart, in thought and in action.

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In the United Methodist Church (an in many other protestant denominations), All Saints’ Day is observed on the first Sunday in November. It is observed in part to remember deceased members of the local church congregation. Sometimes a candle is lit as each person’s name is called out, followed by a prayer offered for each soul.

{Illustration}

All-Saints Day is set aside to remember those men and women who came before us and in their memory to honor God and what God has done through them; for God’s work of salvation and sanctification through them.

We inherited our world, our traditions and our surroundings from these men and women. And truth be told, all of us gathered here today are saints in the making.

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THINK ABOUT IT: YOU ARE THE SAINTS OF TOMORROW.

{Illustration}

To be a saint means to recognize that God has called each of us by name. To be a saint means to hear God’s Call, to listen to what God is calling us to do and to respond to God’s call. To be a saint means to recognize that God has promised to do great things through us for others and for the sake of all of God’s creation that God loves so much.

To us it may seem that we are unlikely candidates for saints because we know all of our inner thoughts, failings and imperfections and because our lives happen in our personal profane, blessed, intricate and complicated earthiness. But it is also important to remember that throughout the history of humanity, God called the least likely candidates to do the most extraordinary things.

We have followed others; their deeds are obscured by the shrouds of time and their names are largely forgotten. Just like we have followed these men and women, others will follow us. In sixty or a hundred years our names and our specific deeds may be as obscure and forgotten as those who came before us. But the reality of what we have built and what we are building will be left behind for those who will follow us as we take our quiet places in history.

{Illustration: Jesus promised, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). …}

{Celebration of the Sacrament of the Holy Communion}

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