Category Archives: All Saints’ Day

In Shops or At Tea

saintsfor Sunday, November 3, 2013
All Saints Sunday
lectionary focus: Psalm 149:1-9; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31
prop: a hymnal that includes I Sing a Song of the Saints of God
Find more history on this hymn here and an interesting survey results here.

Welcome!

Today I have another important book that we use in worship. This is our Hymnal. In here, we find the hymns, or songs, we sing as a congregation. Today we are singing one of these hymns that has been around for a long time and that is traditionally sung on this Sunday each year. The hymn is I Sing a Song of the Saints of God. Let me tell you the story of this hymn: Almost one hundred years ago, a woman named Mrs. Scott who lived in England wrote some songs for her young children to teach them about God. With this song, Mrs. Scott wanted her children to know that Saints are not just fancy people who have statues in churches; Saints are just regular folk like you and me. Eventually Mrs. Scott’s hymns were published in a little book and that book found its way to a man who lived in the United States; John Hopkins wrote a new tune for this hymn and it was added to the collection of hymns sung by many churches.

But back to the words…if Saints are just regular people, why are they called Saints? Saints are everyday sort of people who spend their lives doing good for God. Everything that a Saint does is for God. Whether they are being a preacher sharing the Good News, or a doctor helping the sick, or a waiter serving in a restaurant, or a gardener cutting the grass, Saints love God and share God’s love by doing what God has called them to do. This hymn reminds us that whatever we do, we, too, can be Saints.

So why do we sing this hymn on this day? Today is All Saints Sunday. Today we remember those people in our church family who died in the past year. We are sad that they have died, but we are blessed and rejoice that we knew them and received God’s love from them. We remember that they are Saints by all the good things they did. And we work to follow their example. I remember Miss Betty sharing her violin music and her stories of all the places she played. I remember Buddy helping fix things around the church…and at anybody’s house who had something broken! I remember Mr. Mike; he was so nice and sweet and friendly yet somehow he was the best King Herod we ever had in the Christmas pageant! I remember Cookie always ready for a game of catch whenever you guys showed up with a ball.

Our hymnal has many songs in it. And at one time, some people thought I Sing a Song of the Saints of God was too common and being a ‘children’s hymn’ not appropriate for our Hymnal…but fortunately, other people knew that is the point! We are ALL blessed children of God…and as His children, we, too can be Saints today, tomorrow, every day.

So listen today as We Sing A Song of the Saints of God, and hear how Saints are just regular folk who love God and love to share God’s love. Listen how there were Saints long ago but there are Saints today…you can meet them in school, in shops, any where!

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

Dear Lord,
Today we sing a song of Your Saints.
We are thankful
for the Saints we have known.
Please help me
to be a Saint too.
Amen

We are not Christians (or Saints) alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

On and On and On and On

for Sunday, November 4, 2012
All Saints Sunday
lectionary focus: Revelation 21:1-6a
props: a narrow strip of paper with a fat line drawn on it; tape
note: I thought of making a Mobius strip and then decided it was too complicated for Children’s Time…but it would make a great extension lesson during Sunday School with children and youth!

Good Morning!

I have a piece of paper and I have drawn a line on it. This is the start of the line, and this is the end of the line. If I trace along the line, I go from the beginning to the end and that is all there is. Start to end. And it is done.

But if I take this line and bring the beginning and the end to the same spot and tape them together, we now have a circle. And if we trace along this round shape, we pass the beginning and the end, but we keep going around and around. We keep going on and on.

We are now in the month of November, and we are nearing the end of the year. In 2 months, we will go from December 31, 2012, to January 1, 2013. One year to the next year. And in a few weeks, we will come to the end of the church year. We will celebrate Christ the King Sunday and then the next week we will start the new church year with the First Sunday in Advent. We go from the end of one year to the start of the next year. And the years go on and on.

But today we celebrate All Saints Day. Today we remember those in our church family who died in the past year. While we are sad that their life on earth has ended, we rejoice that their lives in heaven have now started. Their eternal lives go on and on.

In our Bible story today we hear that the Lord is the Alpha and the Omega. These are Greek words that mean the Lord is the Beginning and the End. But He is not like the line that goes from here to there and that is all. God is the Beginning and the End at the same. So like the circle, God goes on and on.

And as His children, we go with Him. We pass many beginnings and many endings–celebrating the end of various events and years and celebrating the start of various years and adventures. But we, too, go on and on.

God continues to call us to be His Saints, to share His love over and over, on and on, through this life and into our eternal life in Heaven.

Today we celebrate God’s Saints before us and we continue the work. We are God’s Saints on and on.

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

Dear Lord,
You are the Beginning and the End.
And You go on and on.
Help us
to be Your Saints
to share Your love
on and on
on and on.
Amen

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

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.