Again Two for One

All Saints’ Day
or
21st Sunday after Pentecost
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proper 27
for Sunday, November 6, 2011
note: Many churches celebrate All Saints’ Day on the Sunday closest to November 1st. Here are two sermons: the first using the lectionary for November 1; the second using the lectionary for November 6.

Sermon #1    Blessed are We
lectionary focus: Matthew 5:1-12; 1 John 3:1-3
inspiration: http://unlikelyconversation.blogspot.com/search/label/All%20Saints 
(The Latin word beatus does not have an etymological connection to the English word beauty, but I believe we are each God’s beautiful, holy creation; and, as in the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, we must in turn make the world a more beautiful place.)

Welcome!

In church we use the word ‘blessings’ a lot. We talk about the blessings we have, all of the good things God has given us: our health, our families, our friends, our homes, our happiness. In our Bible story today, Jesus gives a list of blessings: blessed are the poor, blessed are the sad, blessed are the tired. But wait, these don’t sound like happy things. We don’t want to be poor or sad or tired. Listen, because this passage is special; it is called the Beatitudes. This word Beatitudes comes from the Latin word beatus which means blessed or happy. This passage teaches us that we are ALL children of God whether we are rich or poor, happy or sad, healthy or tired. As His children we are all His holy creations. We are all His saints now as we will be His saints in heaven. And as His blessed saints, we in turn share His love and make the world a more beautiful place.

inspired graffiti in my city

Today is called All Saints’ Sunday. Today we remember all of God’s children who lived before us and who live now. We think particularly about those in our church family who have died this past year, like…(name those in your church who have died). We are thankful that they made the world a more beautiful place by sharing God’s love with us. We think, too, about ourselves. We think about how we are God’s holy creations. We may not yet know all of the ways we will make the world a more beautiful place. But we do know, that no matter what, God sees each of us as His children and He loves each of us.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for creating us
as Your blessed children.
(Thank You
for the life of…name members of your church who have died.)
Help me
to be Your saint
and to make the world
a more beautiful place
by sharing Your love.
Amen

Sermon #2     Be Prepared!
lectionary focus: Matthew 25:1-13

Good morning!

When I was your age, I had a problem with falling into water. If we were near a river or a lake or an ocean or just a fountain, I usually fell in and got wet. So my Mom always had a change of dry clothes for me; in fact, even though I’m a grown-up now and my Mom is a grandmother, we tease that she STILL has a change of my clothes with her. But that’s what Moms do. Moms are prepared for what their kids need. And that is why most Moms carry a BIG purse. They need a big purse to carry: Kleenex, keys, Chapstick, gum, pennies, paper, pens, cellphone, information cards, combs, pictures, snacks, toys, books, hairbands, hand-wipes. Have you ever looked in your Mom’s purse? It’s like a shopping mall of stuff in there! But Moms need to be prepared and big purses help Moms always be ready.

In our Bible story today, Jesus calls us to be prepared. But Jesus does not mean we each have to carry a big purse full of things. Jesus wants us to carry a big heart ready to help those around us. We need to have our hearts prepared to share: love, hope, peace, kindness, good manners, friendliness, cheerfulness, excitement, patience, forgiveness, trust, humor, courage, perseverance, loyalty, honesty, tolerance, sympathy, acceptance, faith, generosity, interest, optimism, respect, (You can edit this list as you see fit.), sincerity, willingness, joy, awareness, charity, comfort, compassion, cooperation, dignity, grace, happiness, hospitality, security, strength, truth, and did I say love? Wow! Sounds like we need to pack a lot of stuff into our hearts. And we do! But where do we get all of this stuff? Jesus gives it to us! The world is a big place. We have lots to do. Jesus calls us to be prepared for His work and He helps us to be ready. So fill-up your heart and be prepared!

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You for my Mom.
Thank You that she is prepared.
Help my heart
to be prepared
to help others
with kindness,
joy,
and love.
Amen

We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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2 responses to “Again Two for One

  1. Seeing your Words about two distinct stories in Matthew has me pondering Jesus words again in both. It might be fun to preach and teach with both of these texts open. Invite people to be prepared for the coming kingdom; and then through the beatitudes reflect on the blessings of joy and faith that God has placed in our lives. In the end these are the blessings that we can carry with us into any situation when all things material are stripped away.
    thanks for a thoughtful posting, John

    • I like this, John! Moms carry the big purse because it is usually someone else who needs something in there. We, too, carry our blessings because it is someone else who needs us to share. Thanks again for your inspiration. Peace.

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