Trinity News and Sermons

11/02/14 Sermon Bullets

All Saints Sunday

  • My thanks to Homiletics Online for inspiration and some quotes for today’s sermon based on our first lesson from Revelation.
  • While I was on vacation I sat in a Waffle House (one of those Southern venues that has made it up to Lancaster County PA) and heard two men say something I have heard before: “I don’t know where we are headed. Our world is in trouble. We are going to hell in a hand basket.” I shared with my friend Grace, “Over all the years that Waffle House has existed, and in so many locations, I wonder how many times those words have been uttered?”
  • And it is true: We DO have a lot on our plate these days – so much news that is so bad: Ebola, hysteria regarding Ebola, ISIS and other places of unrest and war in the world, uncertainty of election results, distrust of the government: the latest Rasmussen poll reports that 8% of voters believe Congress is doing a good job and 62% rate Congress’ performance as poor, the Lutheran magazine reported this last issue that 1 in 7 Americans is dependent upon some form of food service like a Community supper or Food pantry or Food stamps in order to eat, safety on our city streets and housing developments – either from the police or from gang members or stray bullets, shootings in schools and movie theaters and college campuses, etc.
  • In 1983, Anne Murray had a top country song hit that said:
    • Just once how I’d like to see the headline say,
    • “Not much to print today, can’t find nothing’ bad to say,” because
    • Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
    • Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single building’ down
    • Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
    • We sure could use a little good news today.
    • … How I wanna hear the anchorman talk about a county fair
    • And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care
    • … Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
    • And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play
    • And everybody loves everybody in the good old U.S.A.
    • We sure could use a little good news today.
    • On a post where the song lyrics can be found, one can read these words: “It still brings tears to my eyes. What a great sentiment. Wish it could come true.” The pessimism of “wishing” it could come true, which implies “but it won’t”.
  • We need some good news these days.
  • John of Patmos writing in Revelation tells of a day and a place when things will be better – where the Lamb is the Shepherd bringing all to refreshing water, and God will wipe away all tears.
  • This image is of the end of time. But do we need to wait till the end for God to accomplish this? Can there be ANY good news and hope in our time?
  • When we gather for worship together, this is not a private devotion, but a corporate gathering of the family to support and encourage each other, and more importantly to give praise to God and be nourished by God with images of hope and promise and fulfillment.
  • We get “a foretaste of the feast to come” as one of our communion songs states.
  • Our first lesson speaks of those who are singing around the throne in heaven: they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. When we gather for worship, we join them in singing praise to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We may not have completed the “ordeal” of this life, but we are those who live with hope, for we know that through the death and resurrection of Jesus – all the Bad News of this world is not the final story.
  • Lauren Green states in the midst of tragedy: through the work of community, in crying, in praying, in shouting, in sharing, in comforting, in living, in feeding, in supporting: God is with us!