Glimpsing the New Earth

Can be listened to here

Gate Pa – 2015
All Saints and All Souls
Psalm                          Psalm 24:1-6
First Reading:             Wisdom 3:1-9                               
Second Reading:        Rev 21:1-6                        
Gospel:                        John 11:32-44                               

What I want to say:
Use the reading from Revelation to explore All Saints and ask how do we glimpse the Kingdom come in their lives, and how do they inspire us to look for the new heaven and new earth in the here and now. On the back of that, how did we see  glimpses of the new heaven and new earth in our loved ones and how might we honour their memory in how we live our lives now?
What I want to happen:
People to reflect on how they honour the memory both of their favourite saints and loved ones.

The Sermon

     1.      Introduction:

Today is the day after All Hallows Eve – better known as Halloween
so that makes today All Hallows or All Saints
day where Christians for at least last 1200 years remembered all saints.
chance to reflect again on who are the saints that inspires us
            what is it about them that inspires us
            what was we seek to emulate them

     2.      Who are the saints?

so who are saints
For those in the church, what distinguishes saints is their spiritual curiosity, their encounter with a divine God, and the radical love they went on to live because of it. By claiming the faith, we’re claiming a kinship with each of those heroes who have gone before, and saying we’re in this together, too.[1]
catholic church has this system where name saints as saints
            church recognises that these people have entered heaven as saints
  • Servant of God: As soon as the person is accepted for consideration, she’s called a Servant of God.
  • Venerable: After the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints determines that the servant of God lived a life of heroic virtue, she is granted the title of venerable. Heroic virtue doesn’t mean a person was perfect or sinless, but that she worked aggressively to improve herself spiritually and never gave up trying to be better and grow in holiness.
  • Blessed: After the Church establishes one miracle, the venerable person’s cause is presented to the pope to see whether he deems her worthy of being called blessed. This step is called beatification and is the next-to-last step.
  • *Saint: Another miracle and the blessed person’s cause is presented to the pope again for his judgment. If he determines that the evidence is clear and that contrary reports aren’t credible, he may initiate the canonization procedure. If all goes well, the candidate is publicly recognized as a saint.
observed Pope in this process

us Anglicans tend be little more casual
            don’t bestow any these titles on anyone
            all who die in faith are saints
            do remember particular people
each Anglican Province has calendar of saints
            some of whom are common – come from Book of Common Prayer
            some particular to that part of the world
so our calendar has common ones
remembers people who important to story of church in this land
            missionaries – European and Maori
            significant figures like bishops
                        Mother Suzanne Aubert – founder of Sisters of Compassion
                                    saw film about a couple years ago
            get on this calendar
                        name taken to General Synod – debated and added to cannon – or law which governs how this all works
at our mid-week service I will tell outline of one people on or near that day.
In this place we have number people we could remember today
George – named after
Henare Wiremu Taratoa
Heni Te Kirikaramu
Tarore and father Ngakaku – primary missionary for Bay of Plenty
to name a few
all whom inspire us in their different ways?
so – who are your favourite saints?
            what is so special about themj
            what inspires you about them?

     3.      Bible Passages – Gospel and Revelations

Interesting readings set down for today
these are chosen for All Saints
notice temporarily left Hebrews and Mark
instead heard story raising Lazarus from John
(which is not story about resurrection but of temporary restoration of life)
Book of Revelation
paints this fascinating and subversive picture of end time
with basic message
in face of all Rome (Babylon) does to us
remember – God will win
God’s reign will come
we will be part of it
where will  God’s reign be
            out there – somewhere else?
or, as writer of Revelation says – here
right here
this is the place
heaven and earth – this earth
will be renewed
what does that mean for us on All Saints
are they pointing us to a God who is waiting for us in heaven
or are the pointing us to God who is renewing this earth around us?
suggest it si the latter
they pointing us to God who is renewing this earth around us
            they are people that help us see what that renewed earth will look like
they are the ones who help us glimpse God’s hopes for this earth
they invite us to join in that work
trusting that God will finish the job
what are your favourite saints inviting you to?

     4.      All Souls

In our calendar tomorrow is All Souls
day we remember all who have died
            especially those died faith
as we gather this morning
provides  opportunity to remember, celebrate and honour those we have loved and known
who have died over the last year.
remember and give thanks for all who helped shape us to be who we are today
how these people we remember today
            helped us see God who is renewing this earth around us
                                    glimpse God’s hopes for this earth

     5.      We Remember

today is a day to give thanks and remember
                        honouring those gone before us
            recognise the influence they have had on our lives
            acknowledge their role in shaping who we are
            acknowledge how helped us see God at work
Also a day ask how we might honour them in how we live our lives
            others might see God at work through us
Invite us take some time in silence to remember
            give thanks


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