All Saints Day, 2020 - St. Martin's In the Desert

All Saints Day, 2020

All Saints Day Nov2020 Let us pray:

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.

Today we celebrate and remember all those whom God has sent to us to teach and help us to understand the gifts our Lord provides and continues to bless us with. As from the beginning of searching for meaning in our lives it is true today that our faith leads us into a stronger relationship with God. As we experience the events that test us and comfort us the one constant is God’s presence in our lives. From the days of the old testament God sent to us prophets to provide the word of God, to guide and teach us about the expectations God has for us in this life. We continue to receive the evidence of Jesus’s presence and mission as assurance that our savior is with us always. With all the confusion and stress we are dealing with today, in our concern for the pandemic, social injustice and our worship routines the temptation to just throw up our hands and surrender to depression is tempting however, our deep faith returns us to the true resolution of all these challenges. When we accept God’s love and truly give our concerns, confusions along with our hopes and dreams to Him the future will bring us peace. Some might be still a bit cautious as to our place in this dynamic but John reminds us “See what love the Father has given us, that we are called children of God; and that is what we are.” In this truth we are blessed and comforted so we can reach out and comfort others. God’s love for us is reflected in the words spoken to the crowds in Matthew “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.”

The one important lesson I have learned is that God is not found in flying away or hiding out. Instead, the Holy Spirit stands with us in the midst of the horrors, the pain, and the uncertainty, giving us the grace to persevere. This message is continually repeated throughout scripture in the stories of the prophets and saints as they persevered against hard times and mistreatment.

My prayers for us all is that the Holy Spirit continues to fill us with the assurance that we are never alone or forgotten. May our hearts be filled to overflowing and our love light the way for us to find peace.

Rev John