Getting Ready for All Saints' Sunday
Reflection on the Word in our Worship
Seeing the crowds, [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
-Matthew 5:1 (ESV)
For the essential theme of the whole Bible from beginning to end is that God’s historical purpose is to call out a people for himself; that this people is a ‘holy’ people, set apart from the world to belong to him and to obey him; and that its vocation is to be true to its identity, that is, to be ‘holy’ or ‘different’ in all its outlook and behaviour. . . . Thus the followers of Jesus are to be different—different from both the nominal church and the secular world, different from both the religious and the irreligious. The Sermon on the Mount is the most complete delineation anywhere in the New Testament of the Christian counter-culture. Here is a Christian value-system, ethical standard, religious devotion, attitude to money, ambition, life-style and network of relationships—all of which are totally at variance with those of the non-Christian world. And this Christian counter-culture is the life of the kingdom of God, a fully human life indeed but lived out under the divine rule. -John Stott (emphasis added)
The Collect of the Week
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical Body of your Son: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
First Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 149 (see below)
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
1 Praise the Lord. O sing unto the Lord a new song; *
let the congregation of the faithful praise him.
2 Let Israel rejoice in the one who made him, *
and let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praises unto him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the Lord has pleasure in his people *
and gives victory to those who are oppressed.
5 Let the faithful be joyful with glory; *
let them rejoice upon their beds.
6 Let the praises of God be in their mouth *
and a two-edged sword in their hands,
7 To inflict vengeance on the nations, *
and to rebuke the peoples,
8 To bind their kings in chains, *
and their nobles with links of iron,
9 That they may execute judgment upon them, as it is written; *
this is the honor of all his servants. Praise the Lord.