We live in a world of instant gratification. We want it our way right away. Is your internet too slow? Pay for the upgraded higher speed! Does it take to long to gas up your car? Pay at the pump! Is snail-mail really that slow? Send email. Can’t wait for the email response?…shoot out a text.
We eat in our cars. We talk on the phone in our cars. We text as we are on walks and at the checkout line at the grocery store. We microwave our meals and Amazon Prime offers us overnight-express-even-on-holidays delivery of our packages…in some metro areas, same day service is even available! The one thing we don’t have, it seems is patience. No patience and no desire to look forward to things to come. But on All Saints Day, this Sunday, this is precisely what we confess as Christians: there is an eternal city, a paradise of God, an eternity of rest and being with the Lord. But we don’t have it yet. Now we walk by faith, not by sight, confessing the eternal joys of the life to come while yet struggling in this sin filled world of death.
One great struggle we face as Christians in this life is that we think we should have all of this peace and rest right now. No waiting. When we are Christians, God should bless and reward us with a lack of problems. Christians shouldn’t get sick. Christians shouldn’t have trouble paying their bills. Christians shouldn’t have problems with their marriages or difficulties raising their children.
All of the peace and joy and bliss of heaven ought to be ours immediately, instantly, and right now. But then when these things do happen, when we find ourselves far from God, unloving toward our neighbors and full of unbelief, despair and other great shame and vice, we wonder what’s wrong. We don’t feel much like saints do we? Why? Because we have let go of Christ’s word and in our unbelief we have not heard what our Lord has said to us about being saints.
The Gospel and Sacraments that Christ comes to us are all we have in this world. There is no guarantee of easiness, comfortableness, riches, fame, fortune, etc. No, all we have in this life is our Savior. But what else do we need? Nothing.
For now, we live in Christ, poor in spirit, mourning, persecuted, and so on. In this life, we hold forth Christ as the One who calls us saints and who goes with us as we walk by faith and not by sight. Then, in the life to come, we shall see Jesus as He is, for we will be like Christ and we shall live forever in a paradise without fear, darkness, shame, sin, death, pain, suffering or tears. This is the joy of the saints who have gone before us. This is the hope and future of all who are called saints in Christ. Happy All Saints Day, saints!
Pastor Michael Williams