(Scripture notes from Season of the Spirit and Pulpit Resource)
November 5 All Saints Sunday
Our first reading is from I Thessalonians 2: 9-11 This reading offers a character reference of those who have shared the gospel with this community. Their words and actions witnessed to God’s work in and through them. Jesus insisted that word and deed corroborate with each other in Matthew 23: 1-12. Disciples are credible witnesses when their loving actions mirror their words.
We will share in Holy Communion on All Saints Sunday as we remember in prayer those members of the congregation and friends and family members who have died in the past year. The Senior Choir will be singing.
Jesus’ parable of ten bridesmaids in Matthew 25: 1-13 opens reflection on living into God’s purpose. Paul anticipated the imminent end of the age. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 he reassures these early Christians to be confident in the constant love and mercy of God who cares not only for them. Paul encourages them to live in this hopeful expectation. Young Spirit and Spirit will be singing this morning.
This morning, we will take time to honor our veterans. We will also welcome new members and welcome Emma and Nicholas Hernandez into the life of the church through the sacrament of baptism.
In I Thessalonians 5-11, Paul imagines Christian clothes with the virtues of faith, hope, and love as they resist pressure to confirm to society. Our Gospel lesson, Matthew 25: 14-30, is the parable of the talents and is meant to encourage each one of us to be responsible agents of the varied gifts God has given to each one of us. The Senior Choir and the Children’s Choir will be singing this morning. This is Stewardship Sunday when we will dedicate our faith promises for the coming year.
Today is the last Sunday of the church year. This day we proclaim the hope of God’s eternal realm of justice and peace. The reading from Ezekiel 34:11–16, 20–24 makes clear that God’s concern is not for insiders over and against outsiders, but is for all who come under the parameters of God’s care. Here, the prophet reminds the people of identity, and the responsibility they have one for another. In Matthew 25: 31-46, Jesus’ teaching tells how, when God’s reign comes in its fullness, the nations will be separated in the same way a shepherd separates sheep and goats. Jesus’ disciples today are called to perform acts of mercy and justice to those in need – to live out God’s great compassion.
The Senior Choir will be singing.