Today the Church is celebrating All Saints’ Day. Today’s reading comes from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount begins with the beatitudes. In the Old Testament the book of Exodus tells how Moses went up the mountain to receive the old law. Here Matthew portrays Jesus going up the mountain to proclaim the new law. The old law was a list of commandments, things to avoid doing. The new law is a list of beatitudes, blessings based on the new way of life. The beatitudes are signposts to the reign of God. The Saints, too, serve as signposts to the reign of God.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of signposts. In today’s picture Teddy Horsley is gazing up at the images of the Saints in the stained glass window of Bangor Cathedral.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you show your people
the way of true happiness.
Inspire us by your teaching,
that we may rejoice
with all your saints
through time and through eternity;
for you are our God.
Next Sunday is the Third Sunday before Advent when the Gospel reading is the parable of the foolish and wise bridesmaids. The image to help prepare for this theme is batteries. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.