A Month of Gratitude Week 1
“Gratitude for All the Saints”
November 6, 2022 – Ephesians 1:11-23; Luke 6:20-31
Color: White – Communion & Remembrance Sunday
Call to Worship (from Psalm 146:1-4)
Leader: We join together, in body and in spirit, to honor our Creator and to bless our community.
All: To you, O Lord, I give my whole heart, a heart filled with praise, for I am grateful!
Leader: We are grateful for those who came before us, we pray for those who will come behind us, we give thanks that we can come together today!
All: To you, O Lord, we give our whole heart, our communal heart – filled with praise, for we are truly grateful!
Leader: We listen for the stories of this land, we listen for the stories of the people long ago. We listen for the Spirit’s promptings in the ways that we yet will go.
All: To prepare for the future, we listen to these stories, we honor those who have given and planned, and we listen to the ways God has provided for all who are truly grateful!
Prayer of Illumination
God of unfailing light, in your realm of glory the poor are blessed,
the hungry filled, and every tear is wiped away. Strengthened by this vision in Your Scriptures today, may we follow in the way of holiness that your Son made known in life and death. Amen.
Ephesians 1:11-23 (NRSV) Updated Ed
11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may perceive what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Luke 6:20-31 (NRSV) – Updated Edition
Blessings and Woes
20 Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven, for that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
Love for Enemies
27 “But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; 28 bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and if anyone takes away what is yours, do not ask for it back again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Prayer Following the Scripture
O Ancient of Days,
through the outpouring of your Holy Spirit
you comfort and bless all creatures. Gather from the four corners of the world all those who weep in despair or loneliness, those who are hungry, naked, or poor, those who have withstood oppression and are bowed in anguish before violence. Grant that they may rejoice in the new life of justice and peace that you promised your people through the compassionate witness of Jesus. Amen.
Pastoral Reflection for All Saints Sunday There are many ways to remember our loved ones. Such days can bring forth healing and nourishment to the heart of a relative, friend, or caregiver.
The veil between this life and the next is thinner during this time of the year. Many cultures honor the closeness of our ancestors, loved ones, or saints with shared ceremony, worship, or setting sacred intentions as a family, community or with individual remembrance. In the Christian tradition, we call our celebration “All Saints Sunday”.
We will have a special time in our worship service, (or you may take time to remember in your homes) to remember our loved ones who dwell now beyond that great veil between this life and the next. As we speak their names aloud, it is important that we honor the emotions that rise up. Allowing this emotional fluidity brings us into a greater awareness of the whole of humanity -- from those who came long before us, to the entirety of those who are living now, and beyond our time into those who will yet inhabit the earthly realm after we, too, have made our sacred journey of passing.
I invite you to set up a special place in your home, or to go to a special place this week. Honor the sacred. Remember those who have passed. Send blessings to those yet to come. Reconnect with the fullness of the web of life. And know that you are loved.
Blessings upon you during this season we are entering -- of holidays and holy days.
We are including our Liturgy of Remembrance for All Saints so that you can participate at home.
Prayers of Remembrance:
+ We remember those who have come before us, we pray for those who yet will be, and we invite healing and wholeness for all who are living in the world today.
+ We pray for healing between the nations, especially in our relationship with persons of indigenous heritage. We ask the spirit to guide us as we reimagine living together respecting all cultures, all tribes and all tongues.
+ We give thanks for our many blessings, especially mindful in this season of holidays and holy days that our calling is to be a blessing for others as we receive our blessings with love and gratitude.
+ We ask God to help us to care compassionately for all who are longing for community and invite the Holy Spirit’s wisdom so that we can be good stewards of all we are trustees over, especially the land, the buildings we dwell and worship in, and the creatures and folx we share them with.