Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas—November 3, 2016

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 2.51.46 PMThis Sunday we will mark All Saints Sunday, when the Church remembers and celebrates the Saints of the Church: those men and women who, through their exemplary lives of service, teaching, preaching and action have helped to point the way for Christians in every generation. The Gospel for this Sunday is from the teaching of Jesus best known as “The Beatitudes.” These beatitudes, or “blessed be’s” are included in Matthew’s gospel as well, but Luke adds a section of ‘woes,’ targeting the rich, the comfortable and the self-righteous. Luke ends with what many know as the ‘Golden Rule’: “Do to others as you would have them do to you." Here is the gospel in its entirety:

Luke 6:20-31

Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

"Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. "Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. "Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets

"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."

We are coming to the end of a presidential campaign which has been the most vicious in my memory, and that of many others. Whoever the next president of these United States might be, there is a lot of work for us to do as a nation, but, and perhaps even more importantly, as people of God and followers of Jesus. The work of healing is not always easy or even very pleasant, but it is important if we are serious about the promises we make in our Baptismal vows, which ask in part:

Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

I will, with God’s help.

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

I will, with God’s help.

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

I will, with God’s help.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

I will, with God's help.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

I will, with God's help.

— BCP 292

In these challenging days and times, let us pray for our nation and for the world, for all those running for or serving in public office, and for all who will make decisions that will impact all of God’s creation for generations to come. And let us celebrate, remember, and join the Saints in every generation who have sought to follow Jesus as best they were and are able, always and all with God’s help.

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: 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. —Collect for All Saints Day, BCP 245

Peace and blessing,

Carol+

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