Greetings on a bittersweet Sunday from the Rector’s Study in Chuckatuck. Sweet because we gathered for worship and a day of remembrance of the saints who have touched our lives. Sweet because there were friends from other Churches who joined us for worship and fellowship. Bitter because today is the last Sunday which I will celebrate and lead worship with the good people of St. John’s. Bitter because I have been called to minister with the people of St. Mark’s Medford beginning in the New Year. Yet in the bittersweet, we did celebrate the family which we have become and the grace we have been given by our relationship with God and each other. May God bless you in the new beginnings which lie ahead.

In worship we began with a prayer that reminds us that we have been chosen to live together as one body of believers, joined in ways which we can’t truly understand. We also were called to remember that God has prepared the way for us to proceed from today into eternity. Our first reading from the Revelation to John was the description of John seeing the myriad of believers in heaven, drawn from every people and nation. Those who had been faithful to God were rewarded for their faith. The Psalmist sang the reminder that we need to bless the Lord at all times and to proclaim God’s greatness over all things. The reading from John’s first Epistle reminds us that we are children of God and, as such, are protected and supposed to learn from the relationship we have with God and other believers.

Today’s sermon was based on Matthew’s account of the Beatitudes, the listing of blessings found in relationship with God. We realize that God’s standards are not the world’s standards and in the long run the faithful will be blessed. But, we are also reminded that we weren’t created to be abused for our relationship with our creator – that is a wholly human reality. The pain we suffer is real, but the promise of the future is sure. The saints who have gone before us are our assurance of that truth.

I invite your comments,

Readings: Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

Listen at:

Video of worship:

Video of sermon: