Saints Today with Hope for Tomorrow

2019-11-03 – Year C – All Saints Sunday – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 149; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 6:20-36

  • Superhero costumes on Halloween.
  • We all need heroes, people to look up to.
  • We put these heroes into categories. If you golf, you may have golf heroes. Woodworkers have woodworking heroes. Cooks have cooking heroes.
  • As Christians, we have Christian heroes.
    • The point is not that Saints are so much holier than us and therefore must be much closer to God. All Saints were also sinners. Not perfect.
    • The point is that they give us real, concrete examples of what it looks like to live out the Christian faith.
    • “…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” Hebrews 12:1-2.

Living Today with hope for Tomorrow

  • In the Gospel of Luke today, Jesus is speaking to the reality of our broken world.
    • Some people are poor, hungry, brokenhearted, and persecuted for their proclamation of Jesus.
    • Some are rich, with more than enough, laughing at the misfortune of others.
    • Jesus’ point is that justice is coming. Things will one day be set aright.
  • Into this reality, Jesus instructs those who follow him in how to live right now.
    • Luke 6:27-28, 31. The world would be a much different place if everyone behaved like this!
    • You might describe people who live in this way as “holy.” The Greek word for people who are holy is “hagios” and we translate this word into English as “saints.”
      • Their way of life mimics the generosity, justice, mercy, and love of God.
      • It is God, by his Holy Spirit, that enables this behavior in us.
      • Hugs in the Courtroom
        • “an off-duty white police officer, Amber R. Guyger, fatally shot an unarmed black man, Botham Shem Jean, in his own apartment, claiming she thought she was facing an intruder in her own apartment.”
        • “After a jury sentenced Ms. Guyger to prison for murder, Mr. Jean’s brother took the witness stand to address her directly. Rather than expressing anger, he asked to give her a hug in the courtroom.”
        • Later, when the trial was over, the judge encouraged Ms. Guyger to use her time in prison to turn her life around. When Ms. Guyger ask how, the judge gave her her own personal Bible and a hug.
    • By behaving as saints in this world, we are moving the boundaries of the Kingdom of God further and further into the darkness of this world.

All Things in Subjection Under Christ

  • Ephesians 1:1 – This letter is addressed to the “Saints” in Ephesus.
    • Ephesians 1:15 – Paul speaks of their love for “all the saints.”
    • Paul considers every follower of Jesus to be a “saint” a “holy one.”
  • Paul’s prayer for the saints – Ephesians 1:17-19a
    • Enlightening the eyes of our hearts to know three things. v. 17-18a
      • The hope to which he has called us.
        • There is a lot of hopelessness in the world. This is often for the very reasons we spoke about from the Gospel today.
        • As Christians, we have hope: both for this life and the next.
        • Without God we are on our own, fending for ourselves. With God we have nothing to fear because he is watching over us.
      • The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
        • False emails from a lawyer in Nigeria claiming that millions of dollars from some wealthy person’s estate are mine to claim.
        • As Christians, we all have an inheritance. We have been adopted by God himself!
      • The immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe.
        • When people look at Superheroes, they think, I wish I could be like them, I wish I could have their powers.
        • The amazing thing about the Saints of old is that we CAN be like them because we have access to the same power.
  • Ephesians 1:21-23 – All things in subjection under Christ.
    • Already but not yet. v. 21 “not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

A Vision of Future Glory

  • Revelation 7 – An amazing scene describing that which is to come.
    • A great multitude that no one could number.
    • Every nation, tribe, people, and language.
    • All of them worshipping before the throne and the lamb together with the Elders and the four living creatures, and the angels.
  • Who are these? v. 14 – The ones coming out of the great tribulation.
    • They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
    • They are not there because they were perfect, they are there because they were washed in the blood of the Lamb.
  • What will it be like there? – v. 15-17.
    • No more hunger, no more thirst, no more tears.
    • This is the exact opposite of the broken world described by Jesus in Luke.
  • All the saints of God will be there and I want to be there too.
  • This brings us back to Hebrews 12:1-2.

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