Hope for All Saints
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Revelation 7:9-10
As many advances as medical science has made, it still cannot prevent death from occurring. In 2017, an Indonesian man by the name of Sodimedjo died at the reported age of 146. Reportedly born in 1870, he had outlived four wives and all of his children. He had 12 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. But nothing or no one could stop death from one happening.
While we may be powerless to do anything about death, Jesus is not. The sole reason that our Lord Jesus Christ descended from His throne in heaven was to come down to earth and keep God’s Law perfectly because He was without sin and then to offer His life as the perfect sacrifice on the altar of the cross for our place. The way that Jesus could give us life was by His own death. All Saints Day is the date on which the Church celebrates the hope that we have that because Jesus died and rose again, all who die in faith will one day rise again in the resurrection on the last day. We have a hope that will not disappoint us, but a hope that sustains and strengthens us. Many people are afraid of funerals, but not us. We are not afraid because we have something to say at funerals. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! We have something to sing at funerals – I know that my redeemer lives.
The glorious picture that St. John describes of heaven is one of the ways that God gives us hope. We can look forward to angels and archangels and all the company of heaven gathered around Jesus and singing praise to the Lamb who was slain. Imagine for a moment all the people who have received the gift of faith in Jesus from every place and from every age, a great multitude that no one could number will be gathered around Jesus and singing a hymn of victory as we enter into the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom which has no end.
Prayer - 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.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan