All Saints Day
Ephesians 1:11-23 (NRSV)
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
As a pastor, I have had the privilege of sitting at many a bedside as people transition from this life to the next.
It is always an awesome thing to behold as a Christian, with strong faith, begins to take flight!
Although it is sometimes painful to watch a loved one laboring out of this world, and into their eternal life, we take great courage in the blessed assurance that God is waiting to "catch" them on the other side.
In Christ, we do have the incredible inheritance of eternal life! We are also strengthened as we reflect on our place in the body of Christ!
Often, I imagine that I can hear the strains of the song, "Oh when the saints go marching in...", as I watch a Christian take their final breaths.
Because we are in Christ, we know that they are going to a better and more wonderful place and that we will see them again one day.
God has been so gracious to us by giving Jesus to make atonement for our sin and gifting us with eternal life! As we put all of our hope in him, we know that our eternal lives are secure and we can plan to rest in peace!
Let us pray: Oh God, I feel great peace in knowing that my eternal life is secure in you. Thank you for Jesus' life, death, and resurrection that makes my blessed assurance possible. Thank you for all of the saints who have gone before me into Heaven and thank you that one day, I will join in that number! I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.