November 2, 2008 All Saints Day Blue Ridge, GA Rv 7 / Ps: 34 / 1Jn3 / Mt 5
John T Brantley, Blue Ridge United Methodist Church, Blue Ridge, GA 30513 USA
Theme: The Saint are Marching with Us, So let’s March on!
Revelation 7:9-17 7:9 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. 16 They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; 17 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.”
Psalm 34:1-10, 22 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 34:2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. 34:5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. 34:6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble. 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 34:9 O fear the LORD, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. 34:10 The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 34:22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
1 John 3:1-3 1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Matthew 5:1-12 1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Who’s that yonder dressed in red, Must be the children that Moses led,
- Who’s that yonder dressed in black, Must be the hypocrites turnin’ back,
- Who’s that yonder dressed in green, Must be member who try recycling.
- Who’s that yonder dressed in blue, Must be the anxious worried few
- Who’s that yonder dressed in yellow, Must be the big lumber fellow
- Who’s that yonder dressed in brown, Must members coming round
- Who’s that yonder dressed in purple, Must be those running hurrdles
- Who’s that yonder dressed in grey, dancers in the lazy parade
- Who’s that yonder dressed in white, Chosen for a purpose, Israelite,
- Who’s that yonder dressed in orange, Orange, Who would ever want to wear orange?
Blessed are those who are People of God… those who are
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, (those who know they have room to grow in spirit)
- Blessed are those who mourn, (those who know how to feel, grieve, and live transparently)
- Blessed are the meek, (those who respect and are in awe of God and not themselves)
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, (those who have a passion for God)
- Blessed are the merciful, (those who trust God’s grace and offer the same to others)
- Blessed are the pure in heart, (those who lead from the heart, not wearing it on their sleeve)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, (those who work town effective communications and relationship healing)
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, (those who endure with hope for the witness of God’s love, power, and grace)
- Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (those who live fully on the account of God’s love, power & grace)
Today we honor those who in this past year have died, leaving this earthly tent, to be most fully clothed in the fulfilled promises of God.
What happens when you died? Jesus replies to the thief on the cross who asks for mercy and forgiveness, Jesus says, “Today you will be with me in paradise” No waiting, no hold-over station, no wandering aimlessly.. rather, belonging, as now with God.
To be absent from our body is to be fully present with the Lord, but to be present in the body has some distractions, we are still with the Lord. (Hear the Good News!)
We fear death because it is fully beyond our experience. Even with those of near-death experiences, we in Christ, do not know death, an end of life, only an end of the body.
Scirpture tell us that heaven a state of belonging with God… who is that yonder dressing in <colors> are those who belong here. Today we honor and remember those who we have lost in body, but are never forgotten by God. Those who are now in harmony with God..
No pain, no suffering, no fear, no doubt, no weeping, no separation, no darkness, no restlessness, no death… for in Christ, Jesus we are alive forever.