All Saints Day
||Saints from great tribulation
||701. When We All Get to Heaven|
|Psalm 34:1-10, 22
||Praise to God who provides
|Matthew 5:1-12||Great is their reward in heaven
|1 John 3:1-3||God's great love
As we observe All Saints Day, we are keenly--sometimes painfully--reminded of where we are and where we are not. We are on this earth to do God's will. That is what our calling while we are here. Saints who have gone before us have done God's will, too. They answered their calling. May we remember with joy the lives and the service of those who have gone before us.
We know so many saints. Some we know from the scriptures. Some we know from our church or our community. Some are in our homes and our families. Like us, some are here on earth right now. But many have joined the Church Triumphant. How exciting it is to think of the scene in John's Revelation! A multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language. A multitude too large to count. All in white robes. All raising their voices in worship. They are there. Right now, we are here.
"Being there" and "being here." Just one letter different, but all of God's people want to be "there"--to be with Him. How wonderful it is to notice that the one letter we need is "t"--a letter formed in the shape of a cross. To be "there"--to be with God Himself--God provided a cross. Just as the letter "t" completely changes the meaning of here and there, the cross of Christ completely changes our destination for eternity. With the cross, we no longer simply live "here." We are on a journey to go to heaven. A journey to go "there."
This week's featured hymn was written by Eliza Hewitt and first appeared in 1898. Today, more than 100 years later, the thought of being together with God in heaven is just as exciting as it was then. Can't you feel the excitement in the words? Read them:
|1. Sing the wondrous love of Jesus;
sing his mercy and his grace.
In the mansions bright and blessed
he'll prepare for us a place.
|2. While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
clouds will overspread the sky;
but when traveling days are over,
not a shadow, not a sigh.
|3. Let us then be true and faithful,
trusting, serving every day;
just one glimpse of him in glory
will the toils of life repay.
|4. Onward to the prize before us!
Soon his beauty we'll behold;
soon the pearly gates will open;
we shall tread the streets of gold.
I want to be "there" in heaven with God, just like Hewitt and Wilson wanted to. Don't you want to be there, too? It only takes one thing--a cross--to move you from here to there.
God bless you--
Lection at HymnSite.com
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|