Reflections: All Saints’ Day

And he opened his mouth and taught them saying. . . “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:2,4)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Revelation to John, the apostle is given to see what we can now only trust to be real. He sees an ever-expanding vision of heaven starting with the throne of God, heavenly creatures, 24 elders, the Lamb who was slain, thousands and thousands of angels, and then an uncountable multitude of those who died but now live in Jesus. The vision John sees provides the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise given in Matthew 5 and the words of the text today. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”   

Some of you reading this devotion have experienced the deep sadness that death brings. Perhaps you’ve lost a grandparent or even your mother or father. It is a terrible thing to stand at the grave of a loved one and realize that they are gone from this life. We can be overwhelmed with grief. And then Jesus comes with His Word, “They shall be comforted.” Our comfort is found only in Him. It was Jesus who went into death for us. He, who is our source of life, gave Himself to suffering and a crucifixion death for the whole world. On the Third Day He kicked in the gate of death and the grave by rising again and He brings the whole world with Him. 

You have been died for by Jesus. You have been baptized into His death AND resurrection. Those we remember today, who have died in the Lord Jesus, now rest from the craziness of this life and rejoice before the throne of God. They, and we, are comforted always and only in Jesus. “Christ has wiped away their tears forever; they have that for which we still endeavor. By them are chanted songs that ne’er to mortal ears were granted.” “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical Body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for All Saints)