The Story for
All Saint’s Day
Nov 1, 2020
prepared by the Rev’d Rhonda Waters
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” .
Something to Do
More than words
The Beatitudes are a set of simple sentences that are really hard to understand – partly because they are pointing to the great mystery of the kingdom of God. Sometimes, words just aren’t enough.
How would you communicate each of the beatitudes through something other than words? What images would you draw? What gestures would you make? What tune would you sing?
Blessed are the Saints
The Beatitudes are read on All Saints’ Day because they provide us with a description of what it is to be a saint – a person blessed by God to serve the rest of us as a witness and a guide back to God. This Sunday, we will hear some stories about the people who are saints of members of our community. You can contact Rhonda to volunteer to share your story. You can also just share your story with a friend or family member sometime this week.
Something to Wonder
Blessed are those who…
Some of these blessings may come as a relief to you – if you are mourning or find yourself hungering for justice, for example. Some might come as a challenge – perhaps you don’t feel very meek or pure of heart. But what if these blessings are not simply descriptions but calls? What if Jesus isn’t just saying that those are mourning are blessed but that it is blessed to mourn, to feel sorrow about the brokenness of our world, and so we should all do it. It is blessed to be meek and so we should all seek a posture of humility that doesn’t claim to be more than we are (inheritors of the earth, no less).
Which of these calls feel easy to you and which feel challenging? How might you strengthen your capacity to answer them all?
Something to Learn
Saints, Saints, and more Saints!
With everything going on, it’s important to have a little fun. Check out the wild and wonderful world of saints on the Wall of Fame at Lent Madness or get a preview of the 2021 bracket for the Competition for the Golden Halo.
For an even broader range of saints, take a look at Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints – the website offers a tantalizing glimpse of the contents of an absolutely beautiful book where you will learn about people like:
- Maryam Molkar, a devout Muslim and a transgender woman from Iran;
- Rabbi Regina Jonas, the first woman ordained as a Rabbi;
- Rachel Held Evans, a beloved author and speaker who gave many people hope that it was okay to question faith and God.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.