Suncook United Methodist Church
October 31, 2010
All Saints Day
Luke 6:20-31 (God’s Word Translation)
1 Peter 2:12 (God’s Word Translation)
Psalm 149:1-6a (NIV Bible)
1 Samuel 2:1b-2 (God’s Word Translation)
“Living Like A Saint. . . Oh Yah!”
Good Morning. . . Happy Halloween/All Saints Day! Today we celebrate those saints that have gone before us. . . those people in our lives that made a mark on it. . . for the better. We celebrate those of our faith that have paved the way for us to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. You know. . . as I grew up I always thought about Saints and “Saintly hood”. I mean I heard about all the people who are saints and thought to myself “I could never be that good to be considered a saint. . . I would have to live the perfect life, make no mistakes, be totally devoted to God. . . I would have to give my life up and I am not sure I can do that.” I mean what does a saint look like anyway? Are they people who walk around with an illumination above their heads which we call a halo? Do we have to be “perfect” to even be considered to be one? Well. . . let’s take a look at what Luke has to say about what a saint would look like. . . maybe we can find an answer there. . . but let’s go to the throne of grace so that we may see more clearly what the scriptures have to say. . . I know that I need all the help I can get. . .
The Lord be with you. . .
And also with you. . .
Let us pray. . .
Giver of all wisdom. . . we pray that you would open up your ancient word to us. May we understand the words in your Book of Life. . . give us ears to hear you still small voice speaking to us through the pages of history and through those whom you have put in our lives. Speak Lord. . . your children are listening.
As I mentioned before our prayer, let’s take a look at what Jesus said in the Book of Luke. . . let’s hear Jesus’ guide. . . what His “Sainthood 101” may look like. The words are found in Luke 6 verses 20-31. I’ll be reading from the God’s Word Translation this morning. . .
As I have said on several occasions. . . Jesus was a radical guy. Everything He taught was the opposite of what society said during His time. . . as well as ours. So what does this passage tell us of “Saintly Living”?
Well. . . the way I see it. . . the saintly life consists of being poor, now not so much as poor in money but poor in spirit. . . not haughty. . . not “holier than thou” but a life that is humble.
The Saintly living. . . being hungry. . . not always meaning hungry for food but hungry for God. . . hungry for His word. . . hungry to know Him more. The crying piece I see as seeing what is going on around them and mourning. . . crying for those around them. . . crying out to God for those around them and being joyous to see God move in the lives and situations around them.
There are those around the saints that hate them and thin k they are foolish because of their love and trust in God instead of the tangible things around them as society would have them believe. . . they persevere in faith. . . they run the race and are faithful to that race wanting the prize that is in Heaven. They are happy to just be an instrument of God.
Now the next part I find really radical. . . they love their enemies and are kind to all. . . even those who hate and persecute them. Now I don’t know about you but that is a hard one for me to grasp. . . it is difficult to love someone when they are making your life miserable. The way I see what Luke is talking about when he talks about how horrible it is for those whom things are going well for is that we. . . as a human race. . . sometimes forget where our blessings come from. We as a race tend to forget where it is we came from. . . forget about those whom we may have left behind. . . forget about the life we lived before we accepted the grace that is given through Christ Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
As saints, we have a job to do. . . a calling on our lives. I like the way Bishop Weaver put it during one of our Annual Conferences recently. . . and I am paraphrasing here. . . The saints before us are “upstream” from us in the “river of faith”. We learn by their example how to follow God and to live a life that is “pleasing to God”. We are upstream to those who are downstream from us. They are looking to fish (learning how to be fishers of men), looking to find food (that Spiritual food that has been passed on from those upstream from us), looking to find “the Way” (the way to live a saintly life). We learned to shine our light into the world from those upstream and we are to shine for those who are downstream. . . those saints to be. . . to go ye into the world. 1 Peter 2:12 tells us “Live decent lives among unbelievers. Then, although they ridicule you as if you were doing wrong while they are watching you do good things, they will praise God on the day he comes to help you.”
What does a saint look like? Have you looked in the mirror today? That’s what a saint looks like. I want you to look at your neighbor and say “Why you are looking very saintly this morning”. And answer back. . . “Oh yah. . . I’m living life like a saint. . . ”
Let us pray. . .
Loving and compassionate God, we thank you for those saints you have put in our lives. . . those who taught us how to follow you and to hear your still small voice. We pray that we too will be saints for those who are “downstream” from us. May we be truly disciples of you, training up the saints to be. . . teaching those who are waiting to fish. . . to learn how to be fishers of men. . . so that they too may be up stream to those who are downstream from them. May our lives be that of love and compassion for those who are in need. We love you Lord. . . teach us the way to go and may we not turn either to the right or the left. In Jesus’ name we pray. . .
October 31, 2010
1 Samuel 2:1b-2 (God’s Word Translation) (Words of Praise)
Worship Theme: What does a Saint look like?
and sermon, “Living Like A Saint. . . Oh Yah!”
All Saints Sunday