Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Readings for All Saints Sunday

Revelation 7:9-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

Many people who enjoy jigsaw puzzles will keep the picture on the box cover handy as a reference. They like to see the goal of their labors while they are working. That finished picture is an encouraging reminder when faced with a 1,000 little pieces strewn chaotically across a tabletop.

In a similar way, each of Sunday’s readings gives us an encouraging glimpse into the future reality that is every Christian’s goal. And it is a glimpse that keeps us hope-filled in the face of life’s chaotic messes.

In the First Reading, John beholds an international gathering of saints robed in white and worshipping before the throne of God and His Lamb. They have persevered through worldly troubles, and now the Good Shepherd supplies all they need (Rev 7).

We hear from John again in the Epistle reading where he reminds us that we are spiritual works in progress. Already we are beloved children of God whom He is shaping daily more and more into His image. But only when Christ comes again will we shine in the full radiance of His glory (1 John 3).

The Gospel reading delivers the opening beatitudes of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Our Lord is assuring his followers that the sorrows and sacrifices experienced now will result in joyful reward on the Last Day (Matt 5).