Bennington, United Church of
Solomon Yoked Parish
Cawker City UMC
Glen Elder UMC
Today's Lectionary Text
So then, with endurance, let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne.
Think about the one who endured such opposition from sinners so that you won’t be discouraged and you won’t give up. In your struggle against sin, you haven’t resisted yet to the point of shedding blood,
As All Saints’ Day approaches each year, I find myself singing:
For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia! (United Methodist Hymnal, #711, verse 1)
I first sang those words at a Conference Youth Rally in Wichita sometime in the late 1960s. I immediately loved the hymn even though I didn’t really comprehend its meaning at the time. Yes, it is stirring, with a rather martial element to the music and triumphal imagery – things that now tend to make me somewhat wary of theological content. But then there is that beautiful fourth verse that rings true to me when I think of the great cloud of witnesses we remember on All Saints’ Day.
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine,
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
I remember the multitude of people in my own life whose struggles in earthly life were examples of how to live as witnesses to Jesus Christ. I remember that they invited me into this fellowship and community of faith that continues to be my home in a world where there is so much rejection, hate and discontent that is on offer in place of the love and acceptance that Jesus taught. Because of the saints who nurtured me into faith – my parents, my grandmother, teachers, clergy friends, beloved family and friends who left this world far too early – I know that I am one with them because I am a child of God. I know that there is a place for me with them in glory when my life here on earth is complete. I know that all children of God have that hope, as well.
Today, and every All Saints’ Day, I will be giving thanks for all the saints – and especially for those saints God sent to me in the times of my life I have most needed an example and mentor for my journey. Alleluia!
--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired Elder Hutchinson
*Devotion originally posted 10/31/2020
Prayer for Reflection
God of mercy and redemption, thank you for the saints who have helped us mature in faith. Open our eyes, ears, and hearts, that we may recognize the saints around us each and every day. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Verses for All Saints Day
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
This Week's Liturgical Color