Today is also the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost.
Tomorrow is All Saints’ Day.
In today’s sermon, Rev. Geoff McKee discusses some of the shackles the Church has traditonally placed on Halloween celebrations. He explains Halloween’s historical context in the Celtic tradition. Drawing on today’s main Sermon text (Revelation 21:1-8), why dwell on the effects of pain, suffering, death and decay, Geoff asks, when you have something wonderful to celebrate?
Main scripture reading for today
Revelation 21:1-8 (from The Message Bible Translation)
21 I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.
2 I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.
3-5 I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”
6-8 Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!”
This is a hymn about praising God. It speaks of all of the glories God has promised us in heaven above. God’s love for us is eternal, and we can experience it in our lives every day!. This hymn not only covers the things that we are given here on earth but it also tells of the promises that Christ has given us through his death on the cross.