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The Lectionary Scriptures for today’s "All Saints Day" help to describe the character traits of a saint in the early days of Christianity.
Epistle: I John 3:1-3 describes the love of God dwelling within these early Christians. "See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! Beloved, we are now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be upon His return. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is, in all His glory. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
GOSPEL: Matthew 5:1-12 (AMP) Today’s Gospel contains the Beatitudes.
The word beatus first appeared when the Greek New Testament was translated into Latin. Beatus, is a word meaning blessed, happy, and fortunate. I’ve always reflected on the word beatitude as an attitude reflecting what we might be as Christians; be attitudes, those beneficial attitudes, habits, dispositions, which ultimately benefit us as Christians. Listen now to them as the Amplified Bible helps to define these profitable attributes. Jesus describes those who are so blessed because of their attitudes, habits and dispositions.
But be careful, these are not meant by Jesus as that which we are to aspire to. thinking such will gain us access to heaven. No, we are to aspire only to do that which we believe will please God and benefit others. He speaks not of financial gain, prestige, earthly success or prosperity. These are the results of one’s relationship with God.
TOPIC TALK: "SAINTS"
Christmas Eve. Yes, we all know it as a time of great anticipation for Christmas Day. The flow of the Christmas Eve into the Christmas Day, like minutes on the clock, lead us from one in to the other with anticipation and in reality.
All Hallows Eve (you know Hallow’een) was once nothing more than the evening of anticipation of All Hallows Day.
The root word of Halloween - ''hallow'' - means ''holy.'' The suffix "een" is an abbreviation of "evening." It refers to the Eve of All Hallows. It’s the night before the Christian holy day that honors saintly people of the past. "All Saints Day is a celebration of the communion of saints, those people we believe are in heaven, through good works and God's grace."
More than a thousand years ago, in Ireland and Britain, a common custom of Christians was to come together on the eve of All Hallows Day to ask for God's blessing and protection from evil in the world. Often, they would dress in costumes of saints or dress as evil spirits and act out the battle between good and evil around bonfires. That's the source of the modern observance of Halloween. This is to flow from All Hallows Eve to morning as a single message; honoring All the Saints, overcoming evil.
All Saints Day Prayer
Written by Karen Barber founder of "Prayers Ignited International"
Dear Father, We thank you for the communion of saints, through which we are mysteriously United in Christ, with those who have walked before us, and with us in the faith. Although they now rest from their labors in your heavenly realm, we continually draw upon their indelible and living examples of excellence and holiness.
We are grateful for the way they have shared their lives, struggles, faith, courage and acts of mercy during their lifetimes so that we might today live better lifetimes of joyful service to You in your kingdom.
With them we pray in one accord, "Thy Kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Preserve the vivid lessons of their deeds of heroic trust, healing compassion and sacrificial love. Inspire our hearts to dare to follow in their fearless footsteps.
Help us to gaze steadily toward your face as they did before us, resisting evil and humbly depending on you to strengthen and preserve us in the days of testing.
God of all nations, who calls us each to yourself; may we aspire to holiness and service, joining the saints of the ages. To you be the glory and praise and honor for all time to come. Amen.