Thursday, November 01, 2007

November 1, 2007 All Saints Day

Today's text

Luke 6:20-21

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kigdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled."


It happened again, Sunday. The front wall of the sanctuary disappeared. Standing behind the table, the pastor raised her hands lifting the bread, then the cup. Suddenly, the bricks behind her were not there anymore, obscuring my vision of eternity. Instead, I saw those who have gone before and now enjoy clear vision of the One whose name is mercy, the blessed God whom I glimpse but in bits and snatches.

I saw them, and their eyes, too, rose as the pastor lifted the holy gifts of God’s constant giving. A great crowd with smiling eyes and moist cheeks, they looked back at us, the living congregation among whom I stood.

We were not two, but one congregation: Here and there, in time and eternity, living and … well, living. One part shining in glory, the other struggling and confused, yet all sharing “mystic sweet communion” with the One we receive at the Lord’s Table.

I saw Grandma Lavina and my beloved father, as gentle an s ever. I saw strangers and faces I have known in the death camps of Sudan and Somalia, the deserts of Namibia and the hovels of Nicaragua to those I knew and loved on the sun-baked plains of Nebraska, Magdalena and Eilert and all the rest, all of us gathered around the table, receiving God’s inexhaustible, eternally abundant life.

My vision, like the holy table, is not an illusion. It is reality. It is now. And it is the future to which the risen Christ is drawing all things, you and me and the beloved for whom our hearts long.

We gather around God’s eternal table of grace, those in time and eternity, those here and those who gaze upon the beauty of God.

We stand together, with all the hosts of heaven, with saints of every time and place, with all the missing faces for whom we light our candles. With them, we hold out empty hands and taste eternity, even now, even here, at this table.

The body and blood of the One who is life is here for us all.

Pr. David L. Miller

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