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Summary: A sermon for All Saints Sunday

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All Saints Sunday

Luke 6:20-31

"Saints??"

20* ¶ And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21* "Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

22* "Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

23* Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

24* "But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25* "Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger. "Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26* "Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

27* ¶ "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28* bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

29* To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.

30* Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.

31* And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

Randy Frazee has written a book called "The Connecting Church." He has a son who was born without a left hand. One day in Sunday School the teacher was talking with the children about the church. To illustrate her point she folded her hands together and said, "Here’s the church, here’s the steeple; open the doors and see all the people."

She asked the class to do it along with her &endash; obviously not thinking about his son’s inability to pull this exercise off. Then it dawned on her that the boy wouldn’t be able to join in.

Before she could do anything about it, the little boy next to his son, a friend of his from the time they were babies, reached out his left hand and said, "Let’s do it together." The two boys proceeded to join their hands together to make the church and the steeple.

Frazee says, "This hand exercise should never be done again by an individual because the church is not a collection of individuals, but the one body of Christ."

The church, the body of Christ is all the saints who have lived, who are living now and who will live in the future. The church is one person helping another person.

The church is made up of saints, who have been baptized into its body and who have received the grace of God.

In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes which is our gospel lesson this morning, we find two pictures of what a saint is.

Jesus says: And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21* "Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

22* "Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

23* Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

In this picture of the saints, the body of Christ, Jesus is speaking to the human condition. He is telling us that as our lives live in the brokenness of this world, we are blessed. We don’t need to be perfect or to pretend that the sinfulness of this world does not affect our lives.

We are blessed regardless of what we are experiencing.

I think that thought is important in this day and age. A saint is not a perfect person here on earth, but rather, a saint is one who knows the brokenness of this world and then turns to Christ for comfort and rest. In our world, we want the best, we want fame and fortune, and if we don’t get it we think there is something wrong with us. That is the theology of prosperity. It says if you are right with God, then everything in your life should be right, too.

But Jesus is clearly saying something about the theology of the cross. Jesus knows that we are living in an in between time. We are saved, meaning we are saints, but at the same time we are sinners, who have not been fully redeemed. So he is saying that even though you are a saint, redeemed by the blood of Christ, your live might not, will not be perfect. So blessed are the poor, blessed are the hungry, blessed are the those who weep, because one day your full redemption will come.

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