Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18; Psalm 149; Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31
Habakkuk 1:1-4 and 2:1-4; Psalm 119:137-144; (Isaiah 1:10-18; Psalm 32:1-7;) 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12; Luke 19:1-10
Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9 or Isaiah 25:6-9 (Psalm 24); Revelation 21:1-6a; John 11:32-44
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (Psalm 119:1-8); Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34 | Semi-continuous first reading: Ruth 1:1-18 (Psalm 146)
Joshua 3:7-17; Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37; (Micah 3:5-12; Psalm 43;) 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13; Matthew 23:1-12
Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
I read this week’s lectionary passages last summer in the Urubamba Valley in my native Peru, and in my native Spanish: “Pero Cristo ya vino, y ahora el es el Sumo sacerdote . . .” At first I resisted the Hebrews passage, as I prefer Jesus’ concrete teachings to more abstract theological concepts. So, while leading a tour group across the Andes, I turned to Mark: “And man must love God with all his heart and with all his mind and with all his strength; and he must love his neighbor as he loves himself.”
I laughed out loud when I first heard Martin Luther’s explanation of how the Reformation happened: “While I have been sleeping, or drinking Wittenberg beer with my friend Philip and with Amsdorf, it is the Word that has done great things. . . . I have done nothing, I have let the Word act. It is all powerful, it takes hearts prisoner.” When I was sitting there in Intro to Church History sessions, preaching and reforming sounded heady, or easy.
I knew the tale of Zacchaeus as we’ve all heard it—a short bad man climbs a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus—until I heard Charlie Cook preach on it one Sunday in the mid-’70s. Charlie was a short good man, and one of the most extraordinary pastors I have ever known.
One of these All Saints Days our names will be read. We are the potential saints for future generations. We are the shoulders on which others will stand. Will we be ancestors who sat on their hands or ancestors who raised their hands? Sometimes we forget that we aren’t just living our busy lives. We’re also laying a foundation, molding a future and establishing a legacy. How is it going?