Cloud of Witnesses

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This weekend is “All Saints Sunday.” It is time we lift up those that have gone before us into the next dimension of God's Kingdom.

“Your blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the one most dear to you.” Matthew 5:4, The Message

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted “ Matthew 5:4 Revised Standard Version ( NRSV)

Gracie Allen (the wife of former celebrity George Burns) was said to have been a wise and perceptive woman. She left a message in her papers that was only to be discovered by her husband upon her death. The paper read, “Never put a period where God has placed a comma.” Gracie was encouraging George to remember that life had many chapters. George was then 68 when Gracie died. Rather than place a period after his career, Burns went on to star in a number of movies, including playing God twice.  He died at the age of 100,  having lived life after the comma.

Have you ever, ” been blessed even as you have lost those most close to you….”?

While serving as the president of Fuller Theological Seminary, Richard Mouw once engaged in a public debate with a Roman Catholic theologian about prayers to the saints. His understanding was expanded a bit when the Catholic theologian argued that praying to a saint (remember Martin Luther, the 16th century reformer of the church, said that the definition of a saint is a “forgiven sinner,”  which means all of us)  in heaven is nothing more than a conversation with another Christian, in which the person on earth is asking the saint  to intercede with God on his behalf. “When we Protestants are facing some special sort of crisis ,”asks Mouw in Christian Century (May 2007) , “are we not inclined to ask our friends to pray to God on our behalf?” Well then, what is wrong with asking your friends in heaven to take up our cause before God?

We live in a “cloud of witnesses “ (Hebrews 12:1-2) ,who surround us living and dead , that we might keep the faith in good times and in bad.

I will see you and the saints, living and dead, this Sunday.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David Jensen

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