Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

All Saints Day is always on November 1. If you don't read the entire blog, you should scroll to the bottom and watch the video of the great hymn "For All the Saints" and be sure to see the awesome text of the last verse. 
As a side note, it is why we have Halloween - All Hallows Eve - the "hallows" being the "holies" or, the Saints. And as is the case with other sacred days, over the years what was once a time of reflecting on holy things has morphed into a time of unholiness. (Mardi Gras before Lent is another example.)

The idea behind All Saints Day is to remember the men and women of faith who have gone before us and to let their lives inspire us to live lives of holiness before God serving others and following the Great Commission to make disciples in all the world.

Hebrews 11 is often called "the Roll call of faith."

In it we read about some rather famous people - Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and David. There are also some listed here that aren't quite as famous - Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jepthah.

Some saw miraculous things in their lives - 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection

Others did not have happy endings to their stories - and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection ; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword ; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins , being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

But the writer of Hebrews tells us 39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
I love these old paintings of the "Cloud of Witnesses."

By faith they looked forward to "the Promise." By faith we look back at "the Promise," that in the fullness of time God sent His Son.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I've blogged several times about All Saints Day even though Baptists don't really observe it.
All Saints Day post you should read...

The thing I most want to emphasize from the previous post is that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ then YOU are a Saint. (Aren't so sure about that? Go read the post. Click here to see why YOU may be a Saint

This is the dome of the Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel of Beeson Divinity School (Samford University) in Birmingham, Alabama.

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