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Summary: What do the Tweenies, Trick or Treating and Soviet Russia have in common? A sermon for All Saints Day

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What do the Tweenies, Trick or Treating and Soviet Russia have in common? What do the Tweenies, Trick or treating and Soviet Russia have in common?

Yesterday morning my Henry was watching an episode of the Tweenies. The Tweenie clock went to story time and the Tweenies sat down to listen to the story of Noah. Interesting that the Tweenies should hear the story of Noah. Even more interesting the version they heard. “once there was a man called Noah. He was married to Mrs Noah. One day Noah was worried - he knew there was going to be an enormous flood. So he told Mrs Noah “we need to build a big boat to keep us safe and all the animals we love so much”

How did Noah know there was going to be a big flood? Did he read it in the newspaper? Did he google the weather forecast on the internet?

No children - we are not allowed to know how Noah knew there was going to be a big flood. We are not allowed to know about who spoke to him told him about the flood, and commanded him to build the ark.

God has to be written out of the picture.

Back in 1990 I went on a tour of Russia - it was the time of glasnost, the last days of the old soviet regime. We went around the famous hermitage museum. The guide (a stern middle aged woman in her 50s) was determined to give us the official Soviet line. We went into a room full of icons. “Here” she said “Here are traditional depictions of a young mother and her child”.

But what is that Mother’s name? And what is the name of the child she is holding and pointing to?

No - we are not allowed to know that this is an icon of the Mother of God showing us and pointing to her blessed son Jesus.

God has to be written out of the picture.

And this week - Trick or treaters - knocking at your door, threatening you and demanding candy. Halloween. But of course, we are not allowed to know that Halloween, All Hallows Eve is the day before All Saints Day when we celebrate “ a great multitude that I could not number and they were all praising the Lord with songs... these are they who have put off mortal clothing and have put on the immortal and have confessed the name of God. Now they are being crowned and received palms”.

Halloween has to be about threatening to egg people’s doors if they don’t give you sweeties. We are not allowed to know about the huge crowd of Christians in heaven, there because of their relationship with Jesus who saved them.

God has to be written out of the picture.

1 Peter 2:5 talks about the church being built of “living stones”. Now you might imagine an image of a man trying to build a wall but every time he adds more bricks, old ones vanish... I want you to picture that rather odd image - because that is what the church would be if the living stones were only those Christians present here on earth right now. But of course as the Jesus says in the Gospels (when talking about God’s relationship with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), God is God “not of the dead but of the living” - we don’t stop living when this life stops (Mark 10:26-27). The living stones who make up the church are not just those alive in this life, but those alive in the life to come. The bible is full of pictures like the one we just read in 2 Esdras (or the very similar picture we read in Revelation or pictures we see in Isaiah or elsewhere) of the vast crowds of Christians in heaven.


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