All Saints Day

All Saints Day | November 1, 2020

Revelation 7:9-17 and Psalm 34:1-10, 22 • 1 John 3:1-3 • Matthew 5:1-12

Matthew 5:1-12 | New Living Translation

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Prayer for All Saints Day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical Body of your Son: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Blessings and Sorrows

Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18 • Psalm 149 • Ephesians 1:11-23 • Luke 6:20-31

20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,

“God blesses you who are poor,
    for the Kingdom of God is yours.
21 God blesses you who are hungry now,
    for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now,
    for in due time you will laugh.

22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

24 “What sorrow awaits you who are rich,
    for you have your only happiness now.
25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,
    for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,
    for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,
    for their ancestors also praised false prophets.

27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

Luke 6:20-31 New Living Translation (NLT)


Today is All Saint’s Day. It is the day that we remember those who have served Christ and are no longer with us. They have reached their eternal reward. I love this old quote from my friend Mark Wilson who talks about the definition of a saint:

A saint is someone whose life makes it easier for others to believe in Jesus.

Mark Wilson

In many ways, saints are nothing special. Most saints are Christ-followers who humbly go about serving Jesus – not bringing attention to themselves. Sometimes in that process – by serving Jesus and doing it humbly – they bring attention to themselves. We often think of saints as older people, but when you look at the scriptures and see how the Apostle Paul addresses the saints, they are believers – through and through. The saints are the church on the earth today.

In today’s scripture, Jesus gives us blessings. Luke records the words that are echoed in Matthew’s gospel, but then Jesus goes on to give the woes. We love to talk about the blessings of the saints, but we rarely talk about the dangers to the saint.

Jesus reminds us that if we follow Him, there will be people who don’t understand…they will mock us…they will persecute us…they will exclude us. I’ve experienced some of that over the course of my life. We are reminded that when that happens, we should consider it joy (as the Apostle James says (James 1:2) Our reward is not this earth. There are too many “Christ-followers” who forget that our reward is in heaven. Anything that we get here is a bonus. A saint shouldn’t go around acting sour, but should spread the light of Christ where ever they go.

If we are faithful followers of Christ, we will join that great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

Hebrews 12:1-4

This is what it means to be a saint.

Prayer for All Saint’s Day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

All Saints Day

Isaiah 25:6-9  •  Psalm 24  •  Revelation 21:1-6a  •  John 11:32-44

queenstown-1334139_640.jpg

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.


Today is All Saints’ Day.  It is a day on the church calendar that is designed to remember those who have gone on before.  In Hebrews 12, the author writes about the great cloud of witnesses – these are those who have gone on before – who are cheering us on in our life of faith.

This morning before going to work, I was listening and watching the news. I was getting quite disgusted with that and the bombardment of political ads.  The ads here in Western NY (we get our news from Buffalo, so all the ads are for candidates from Western NY) have really been nasty. I knew that this morning was All Saint’s Day, so I looked up the scriptures in order to write the devotional.  That’s when I came across the scripture that comes from Revelation.

This morning’s scripture is a reminder of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. I love the hope that we have that we to will join the great cloud of witnesses – in a world where sin does not exist.  I believe in many ways, that is the meaning that the sea was gone.  The sea in ancient times was where evil existed – where sin existed.  John tells us that the sea is gone – so is sin – so is sorrow – and pain – and death – and crying.  We are told that in the new heaven and new earth, all those things are gone.

Today this post is in memory of the saints who have gone on before.  My friend Mark Wilson once said,

“Here’s the best definition of a saint I have ever heard: A saint is someone whose life makes it easier for others to believe in Jesus.”

Several weeks ago, we said our final earthly good-byes to one of our congregation. Today Merle is experiencing what it means to be in the presence of Jesus.  I know how much I miss him and I can only imagine how much his family misses him.  But today he is part of the great cloud of witnesses and he knows first hand about the absence of sorrow and pain and death.

Saints are people who can wield incredible influence.  I know that my own Grammy and Pop, were influencers in my life.

Young Mom and Dad.jpg

Two more people in my life who are now witnesses are Dick and Shirley Christman.  They were Pam’s mom and dad. Pam’s dad was a pastor and evangelist and her mom kept the home fires burning.  Their legacy continues to live on in their children and their children.

Last year on Facebook, I posted a quote from Pope Francis

Dear friends, the world needs saints and we are all called to holiness without exception.  Don’t be afraid!

To close out the post today, I want to share Tommy Walker’s “All the Saints Join In.” A great song of praise as we remember those who have gone on before.

Prayer for All Saints Day

Image result for all saints day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

All Saints Day Prayer

103109_0135_AllSaintsDa1.jpg

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

All Saints Day

cemetery-290901_640.jpgAll Saints Day (November 1, 2017)


1 John 3:1-3 | New Living Translation (NLT)

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.



Today is All Saint’s Day.  What do you think of when you think of a saint?  Do you think of someone who has already gone on to their reward in heaven? We usually think of older people, who have lived a devoted life to Christ as a saint.  We typically don’t think of younger people as saints.  We also don’t think of those who haven’t gone through trials as saints.

The reality is that those who have received Christ as their Savior, who are living according to his commands are saints.  In the words of John – we are children of God.  Throughout the New Testament, especially in Paul’s letters, we hear the word saint used in relation to those who are following after Christ.  So if you are dedicated to the cause of Christ and obeying his commandments and making disciples, you are a saint!  How does that make you feel.

The children of God have a great promise which is alluded to in John’s letter.  John also received a vision from Jesus – we call that vision the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  It is the final book of the Bible and also written by John.  In it we are given a glimpse of the hope and worship that awaits for the saint, when they are called home by God.

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
    and from the Lamb!”

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
    and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength belong to our God
    forever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”

And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”

Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne
    and serve him day and night in his Temple.
And he who sits on the throne
    will give them shelter.
They will never again be hungry or thirsty;
    they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.
For the Lamb on the throne
    will be their Shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
    And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

So child of God, you are a saint that God wants to use and has a great reward awaiting for you.

United with Christ

434a287b6a3e8bf9256248da85ce16c4All Saints Day (November 1, 2016)


Ephesians 1:11-23 | New Living Translation (NLT)

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.


We Are United with Christ!

Today is All Saints Day.  We remember those who have gone on before.  I know that sometimes we struggle with the word saint.  It typically designates someone who is really spiritual or really seems to have their act together spiritually.  We think of people who have great patience as being saints.  But if we look at the Scripture, we see that the word saint is used for God’s people – united with Christ and set apart for His purpose.  We may have our flaws, but God is continuing to perfect us and bring us to maturity and completeness. In his greeting to the church at Ephesus, Paul calls them God’s holy people, faithful followers of Christ Jesus.  In other translations, it would be the word saint – for that is what a saint is – a holy people – a people set apart – who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus.

I know that both Pam and I both owe a great deal to those who have gone on before.  We have a wonderful spiritual legacy.  And yet Paul is speaking to the living saints – those who are still here on earth.  He prays that Christ would give us spiritual wisdom and insight so that we would continue to grow in our knowledge of God – he prays that we can understand the hope – the confident hope – that we have – that glorious inheritance.

This week our church will be praying for the persecuted church around the world.  We will be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ – the saints.  We will be praying for great power – Paul alludes to it in verse 19.  “I pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.  This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”  That same power – as Jeremy Camp sings, lives in us – that power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in us – and gives us the confident hope that we will once again be reunited with our loved ones who died in Christ.

Paul writes great words of encouragement – Christ is far above any ruler or power or leader in this world and not only this world but the world to come.  God has put Christ in charge of everything – including the church – Christ is the head of all things.

We are the saints – we are the children – we are the body of Christ – and Christ is the head – he fills (if we let him) all things everywhere with himself.

Today lets remember those who have gone on before and remember that we are saints in progress and live with the fullness of God’s power living in us.

All Saints Day

Today is All Saints Day. I like the way Seedbed (a “Wesleyan” resource site – by “Wesleyan” I mean the greater tent of Wesleyan – which includes many different denominations, such as The Wesleyan Church, Free Methodists, Nazarenes, and the United Methodist Church) defines it.

All Saints Day then becomes an opportunity for us to remember that calling. We honor the lives of the martyrs who sacrificed all for the sake of Jesus. We lift in prayer those we have known and loved who have died in the faith, and we challenge those saints among us to devout and holy living.

I encourage you to check out the larger article here. And check out this article from the United Methodist Church.

All Saints Day is a day to remember those who have gone on before – those who have lived their lives full of Jesus.  They are part of the huge crowd of witnesses who are cheering us on to win this life of faith.  12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2)


all-saints-dayAll Saints Day (November 1, 2015)


Psalm 24

A psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
    and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
    who do not worship idols
    and never tell lies.
They will receive the Lord’s blessing
    and have a right relationship with God their savior.
Such people may seek you
    and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.[a] Interlude

Open up, ancient gates!
    Open up, ancient doors,
    and let the King of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty;
    the Lord, invincible in battle.
Open up, ancient gates!
    Open up, ancient doors,
    and let the King of glory enter.
10 Who is the King of glory?
    The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—
    he is the King of glory. Interlude