Sunday, 01 November: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 24:1-6; 1 John 3:1-3; Mathew 5:1-12 ~ a reward in heaven

All Saints Sunday

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening Sentence and Prayer:

Today, we remember the great company of saints (men and women of every time and place) who were saved by grace, lived by faith and were received into heaven by the mercy of God. May we, one day, be among them. holy God cross
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All-holy God, You call Your people to holiness. As we remember Your saints, give us their meekness and poverty of spirit, a thirst for righteousness, and purity of heart. May we share with them the richness of Your kingdom and be clothed in the glory You bestow. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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Hymn: “For All the Saints”


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A Reading from the Book of Revelation: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14 (NLT)
[This was written to reassure Christians suffering during Nero’s persecution. Christians today are protected as they were.]

And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God. And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, “Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.”

And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God — 144,000 were sealed from all the tribes of Israel:
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allsaintsicon

All Saints Icon

After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. They sang,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”

And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”

Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 24:1-6 (NLT)

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.
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“The earth is the Lord’s” by Rosalind Hershkovitz


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A Reading from the Letters: 1 John 3:1-3 (NLT)
[John assures us of God’s love and the hope for the future that comes with it.]

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Mathew 5:1-12 (NLT)
[The Gospel lists the kinds of people to whom the kingdom of heaven already belongs.]

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

+ “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

+ God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

+ God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.

blessed are those who are persecuted Jean-Michel Basquiat Manhattan Graffiti, 1981

blessed are those who are persecuted
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Manhattan Graffiti, 1981

+ God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

+ God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

+ God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

+ God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

+ God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”
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Hymn: “Good Father” – Kalley Heiligenthal, Bethel Church


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Intercessions:

Good Father God – You created us and love us – hear the cries of our hearts:

+ For all baptized believers in Christ –  that we may enter the company of the saints….  Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians in every tribe and nation – that we may live in Your love and work to rid this world of injustice….  Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians suffering persecution today, in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East – that they may have courage….  Lord, hear us.
+ For those whose lives are plagued by doubt and despair – that Your grace may guide and illumine them….  Lord, hear us.
+ For all who are sick – that they may receive Your healing grace and find peace in the blessed hope of eternal life….  Lord, hear us.
+ For all who are lonely – that they may experience Your closeness as friend…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have gone before us in faith – that they may stand with the saints, rejoicing before the throne of the Lamb…. Lord, hear us.

God of heaven and earth, You reward those with clean hands and pure hearts: in our unworthiness we bring our prayers to You, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Hymn: “Holy Are You Lord” – Terry MacAlmon


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Benediction:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 7:12)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ

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