Sunday, November 2, 2014

THE SAINTS AMONG US


 

Pastor Jerry began his message with a story, as I took notes on his sermon.

A man visited his old home church in the South, and noticed the new stain glassed windows with names of donors attached.  He didn’t know any of the names and asked the Pastor if there had been a lot of new folks recently.  He was told, “Those folks weren’t members here for we purchased at a bargain price, the windows from a church in St Louis; when their new windows did not fit.  The man asked, “Don’t you want to remove those donor names?”  The Pastor replied, “No, we are a small church, so each Sunday it is nice to be surrounded by so many other Saints.” 

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith - - 

If you are from a Catholic or Episcopal or other church background, you may know that today is “All Saints Sunday.” 

We look back through the Old Testament and are reminded of the many Godly Saints; some were killed because they were faithful to proclaim what God told them to say. 
 
The New Testament reveals a score of other Saints, as does History as we think of the Christian Martyrs, Missionaries, Doctors, Nurses and helpers who went forth to bring the Gospel of Christ to others.

We are also reminded of those Saints in our church who this past year have passed on to glory ahead of us. 

In the book of Hebrews it is written, we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.  Saints surround us and their memory encourages us not to quit.  Remembrance fills us with faith and boldness.

Each one of us is in some form of crisis or emergency.  In our town there are many in dire predicaments not of their choosing.

We can’t go alone and we need the Lord and we need each other.  God promised Joshua that he would be with him as He had been with Moses, and today we have that same promise that He will never leave or forsake us.

Traditions of the past give us options and enrich our vision, but we cannot live in the past.  We must realize we can build upon what is past, but we must look ahead and not keep looking back into our rear view mirror.

Pastor told another story: A male child, Francis was born 1811 into a prosperous and good family.  Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi.  While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life.  He began preaching on the streets and helping the poor, and soon gathered many followers.  Today we know him as Saint Francis of Assisi. 

We must love one another, help one another and always bring to others the Good News of Christ Jesus.

Yes, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, and we are not alone.  The Saints of old are cheering us on toward the goal of heaven. 

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;


 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Hazel! I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  2. I think it's great that they didn't remove the names on the window...we are all part of the family of God. A church building shouldn't separate us except for our physical location.

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  3. "Thankful for those who have since gone on before us. Wonderful Saints of God working their whole life to honor God....what a privilege it was to know a few" Vicki K

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  4. This was a wonderfully comforting post, Hazel. Having just lost my dad in January, and then a beloved great-aunt a week ago, I am thinking more about this "cloud of witnesses." It's good to know that we do not walk this faith journey alone. We have each other in the community of the Body of Christ, and we have the legacy of those who have gone on before us into the presence of the Lord.

    Yes, I am greatly encouraged!!

    GOD BLESS!

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