Our November 1 All Saints Day Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook. Our social spacing seating arrangement assures minimal risk when you come in person.
The November 8 worship services will be held in our church sanctuary at 8 and 10:30 am with members and friends in attendance. It is scheduled to be streamed live on the DeSoto Redeemer Facebook page. We will post a direct link to the recording here as soon as it is possible after the service.
We are glad to share our worship with you. Click on “Contact Us” above to find out more about our faith family and what we believe.
Sermon for All Saints Day Sunday
Revelation 7:9-17 | Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3 | Matthew 5:1-12
Today is All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1. The day in which we celebrate all of the saints, living and dead. “For there is no distinction.” Think about that for a minute. How about that for an incredibly radical statement! There is no distinction not even between the living and the dead! For those in the faith; sin, death and evil have no ultimate power over us. We struggle with them through our days here on earth, but we know in faith that their power over us has been ultimately broken by Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb, for our salvation. So, “Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s,” to quote Scripture – in faith, we belong to Christ. It is really that simple.
Death has now become a gate, a door through which we must pass, to go from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant – and have gone on to the glory with God and Christ. “There is no distinction.” Like I said, this is a radical statement, but militants often have lots of radical statements. And yet, it is not radical in the eyes of faith! There is only One Church, Christ’s Church. Since death could not hold him, neither can it hold those who are in Christ. On earth, we make up the “Body of Christ.” Called, claimed, redeemed and sanctified by Christ himself.
Since last Sunday, we celebrated Reformation Sunday. Keeping that in mind I’ve often wondered, if it was possibly because of this “no distinction” aspect of All Saints’ Day in particular, that Martin Luther chose the evening before (or early morning) of All Saints’ Day for the day on which he posted his 95 Theses upon the Wittenberg Church door? Perhaps Luther was symbolically calling the whole body of the Church, past and present, and future; living and dead, celebrated on this festival as witness to his desire to restore his understanding of the Gospel to the Church’s proclamation. Could that be part of his action? Besides the fact that he knew that virtually the whole town would be going to worship on All Saints’ Day? In the rest of the world, this day is a HUGE commemoration. Everyone goes to worship, to pray for their dead relatives and friends; even the atheists. I told you that it was a big day.
If we celebrate the Church today, what in particular do we celebrate? First: that having been claimed by Christ himself, being saved from our sins and ancient enemies by God’s grace, through our faith in Jesus Christ. That is the Gospel message that Luther was seeking to restore. That, we celebrate first and foremost, namely, that “we are saved.”
But, we also celebrate the gifts and promises which are laid out in the Beatitudes of Matthew’s text this morning. Some may say the Christian rewards, ultimate rewards, if you will. But, Lutherans don’t believe in the concept of “rewards.” We believe that salvation itself is by itself more than enough. However, looking at Matthew 5, Jesus says that there are rewards for certain states. Don’t tell Luther.
Look at the Beatitudes in the light of those who are gathered around him as he speaks the Sermon on the Mount, these words of grace and promise. What is promised, and to whom? Imagine them; the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, etc. It all fits those who are gathered around Jesus on that mountain. It fits all of those who truly seek him, or who are looking for redemption from above. To be filled from the emptiness, incompleteness and brokenness which the condition of sin has left us in after the Fall into Sin.
Who are the blessed? They are, in description, the Church. All who throughout time have sought in their heart after God. Those who gather around Christ have found what they knew to be missing. St. Augustine, a good example, famously wrote, “I never knew how empty my soul was, until it was filled up by you.” In Christ, we are given the kingdom, comforted, are filled. We have received mercy. In Christ, we see God – the lamp of God’s holy city. More than that, we are made children of God. Rejoice and be glad!
That brings us to the Lord’s Supper, a foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet. Christ is present, spiritually. But, in the bread and the wine, we may physically behold him, and receive his mercies. It is a “foretaste of the feast to come,” at the end of time. Given, to prepare and strengthen us for the task of being His Church in this life. As part of his Body, we receive into ourselves in “faith, his body and blood, given and shed for us, for the remission of our sins.” And, we too are made saints, and share with all of the saints, the gifts and glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. FOR ALL THE SAINTS O LORD! Amen.