Mourning into Gladness

The Lord All-Powerful will prepare a feast on this mountain for all people. 
It will be a feast with all the best food and wine, the finest meat and wine.
On this mountain God will destroy the veil that covers all nations,
the veil that stretches over all peoples; he will destroy death forever.
The Lord God will wipe away every tear from every face.
He will take away the shame of his people from the earth.
The Lord has spoken.

At that time people will say,
“Our God is doing this! We have waited for him, and he has come to save us.
This is the Lord. We waited for him, so we will rejoice and be happy when he saves us.” Isaiah 25:6-9 (NCV)

[Jesus said,] “The Father gives me the people who are mine. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them. I came down from heaven to do what God wants me to do, not what I want to do. Here is what the One who sent me wants me to do: I must not lose even one whom God gave me, but I must raise them all on the last day. Those who see the Son and believe in him have eternal life, and I will raise them on the last day. This is what my Father wants.”            John 6:37-40 (NCV)

Lectionary texts for All Saint’s Day: Isaiah 25:6-9, Psalm 27, Romans 6:3-9, John 6:37-40

This is a day in the Church year when those who have gone before us are remembered. During worship services often names are read of those who have died during the year. The grief in the room is tangible whether it has been two days or 11 months since the person died. We grieve for ourselves because the one we love isn’t there to talk to us, laugh with us, share the upcoming holidays one more time. The one who has died is certainly in a better place – but that doesn’t fill the hole that has been ripped in our lives.

These four Scriptures may be ones to mark in your Bible. Just write a little list on a page so that when you are feeling that “low” place and missing that person, these Scriptures are good ointment to gently smear over that sore spot. They aren’t sicky sweet platitudes but God’s promises and truths about His plan for us.

It will be a feast. I am a “foodie.” I love to cook for my family and friends whether it is a pot of homemade soup and some crusty bread or Thanksgiving dinner with all the favorites. God has all the best produce at His hand and He never burns the sauce! There will be laughter and more joy than any of us have experienced at any family reunion. I can’t wait!

There will be no tears and no shame. There are times that I think I can’t stop crying. I weep for the people devastated in disasters. I weep for children who are abused and killed. I weep for our soldiers and their families who give so much. I weep for friends who are battling cancer and must endure another needlestick and another trip to a doctor or hospital. I weep because I miss my children and grandchildren. But there is coming a time when I will smile and laugh and laugh and smile. That’s all.

And in all the ways that I have been disobedient to my LORD; I’ve missed opportunities to be His hands and feet or misrepresented Him to someone who so needed to see Him – that shame will be washed away like a rain shower bath in the purest of water. The way that I felt the night I was baptized, so clean and new, it will be like that, only better, all the time!

All that Jesus came to save and believe in Him will be there. All those who have gone before me to heaven and all those that I haven’t sat down at a meal with in so very long, they will be there. And there are no time constraints to our time together. It is forever. How long is that? Well, my simple, finite mind can’t really grasp that – but it means it will never end. And I believe we will do Kingdom work together, in harmony, forever and ever because God’s Kingdom will have no end!

So if you are thinking of some Saints today that you haven’t seen in awhile – take time to read these Scriptures, write them down so you don’t forget these good words, and listen to this song. It will all help you to keep on…

Keep Singing written and sung by MercyMe

 

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