Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Readings for All Saints Sunday

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

Every week I get at least one piece of mail telling me that I’ve been accepted and approved by some company for a product I’ve never heard of and have no interest in purchasing. Still, I guess it’s nice to know someone approves of me:)!

All of us have a need for the approval of others, whether we like to admit it or not. We may seek the approval of a parent or spouse, a boss or a peer that we look up to. Sometimes we seek approval from the right places, but sometimes we seek it from places we shouldn’t. Whose approval means the most to you?

All Saints Sunday reminds us of the person whose approval should matter more than anyone else’s – God’s. Sunday’s lessons tell us, each in their own way, how God’s approval is not something that we can hope to earn. It is a pronouncement God makes to all through His Son and chief spokesman, Jesus. Our Savior pronounces his Father’s blessing on a number of groups, some of whom might surprise us (Matt 5). The apostle John reminds every child of God that he or she is a work in progress, whose final perfection will only be seen in heaven (1 John 3). He also shares his future vision of all the saints worshipping before the throne and praising the Lamb whose blood is the stamp of our approval before the Father.