Daily Devotion for November 1, 2012
All Saints Day
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
I defy you not to be charmed by this! The perfect song for All Saints Day.
Prayer for the Morning
O my God, I offer you all my actions of this day, that they might fulfill your intentions for my life. May I show the glory and love of Christ in my every thought, in my every work both great and small. I ask you for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill your holy will, to accept the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all eternity.
Thanks for the Life of Christ
Almighty God, I thank you for the life and teachings of your only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is amazing to think that he lived and walked among us, one of us, a mortal man who bled and felt pain, who felt anger and love, who would become tired and hungry. His life truly taught us your love, by showing us that you would share the burdens of mortality.
Although the terrible beating and torture, and long painful death, that he suffered at the hands of the powerful was a terrible thing, his ultimate victory in overcoming that death was the greatest victory in the history of mankind. I praise you for Christ's resurrection and victory, and for his promise to all people, that he will intercede for us at our death, and bring us to eternal life. Today I remember and celebrate his resurrection, giving all glory to Father, Son and Holy Spirit for this miracle and the redemption of our own lives. Through Christ I pray,
Almighty and Everlasting God, who has enkindled the flame of Your love in the hearts of all the saints, grant unto us the same faith and power of love; that, as we rejoice in their triumphs we may profit by their examples. And I pray especially for those who have led lives of devotion and sacrifice, unknown to us and without the praise of mankind, the simple people who did not have the glory of men, but sought only the true glory of Your grace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Finally, may everything I do this day, in word or deed, be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Revelation 7:9-17 (ESV)
A Great Multitude from Every Nation
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!”
And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Notes on the Scripture
Today is the day we remember "all saints", which is to say, not only those people who have lived lives of such great devotion, virtue, achievement and sacrifice that they have been canonized, but even more, all the "little people" like ourselves, who have tried their best to follow Christ in a world filled confusion.
Especially, people tend to cast their mind's eye on those who have died for Christ, unknown and forgotten: Christians in early Rome, missionaries all over the world, Russians and Chinese under Communism and, even today, an occasional person in a hostile land, especially in Muslim countries. In Iran, for example, the official penalty for spreading Christian doctrine is death.
But these saints, whether we are talking about Saint Peter or the guy next door, have one important thing in common: they are all sinners. We do not become righteous while we are human. It is impossible. The temptation to sin is part of us; it is who we are. Paul even goes so far as to tell us that the entire purpose of Judaism, the reason God gave the ten commandments and the law to Moses, was so that they could find out that it was impossible to follow perfectly.
Revelation is one of the least-read and most poorly understood books in the Bible, certainly in the New Testament. Aside from a few nutcases and Hollywood writers looking for vivid, disturbing imagery, people shy away from it. Understandably. Much of it sounds insane.
But in the end, it is a great source of comfort. The central image in today's passage is that of sinners, whose robes, despoiled by the sinfulness of their lives, have been washed to a perfect snowy white by the miracle of Christ's life. This is the reward for the little "saints"; their faith will lead them to a time and place where they will be made perfect and able to stand before God, face to face, without guilt or embarrassment. They have left pain behind, forever, and "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."