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11-6-22 True Blessing

True Blessing

David Peterson / General

Saint; The Beatitudes; All Saints Day / Luke 6:20–31

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: All Saints’ Day is a reminder that there is that worth losing every else for. It is the Kingdom of God/Heaven and that reality is love, the love described in Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.

Introduction

1. All Saints’ Day

All Saints’ Day (November 1). Major observance dating to at least the late fourth century, originally set aside to honor Christian martyrs.

Many Protestants, holding that all Christians are saints, honor all the Christian departed on All Saints’ Day (November 1) or the Sunday following.

Provance, B. S. (2009). In Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship (p. 16). IVP Academic.

Reference to such a feast occurs in St *Ephrem Syrus (d. 373), while in St *Chrysostom (d. 407)

In The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed. rev., p. 42). Oxford University Press.

I. Blessed? (Luke 6:24-26)

1. Comfort, Having Your Basic Needs Met, Fun and Good Times, Being Appreciated by others—all would agree this are blessings.

2. None of these are bad, in and of themselves. Indeed, the blessings promised in the OT were material blessings–”go well with you in the land” and there is 3 John 2.

Illustration—woman in the United Kingdom

‘Toast is a luxury’: Families ‘never been more scared’ over where money will come from | ITV News (Youtube Video)

Oct 18, 2022

It is hard to overstate just how scared people are right now.

Facing bills they just cannot pay, rent or mortgage payments they won’t be able to afford, this is a fear unlike anything many have ever faced – the fear of simply not knowing what to do.

I saw it etched on the faces of almost everyone I met on the Meadow Well estate in North Shields – a community in the north-east of England accustomed to weathering tough times, but none quite as tough as these.

There had been no sign Liz Wright would break down in tears.

ITV News spent two weeks in North Shields investigating the impact of the cost of living crisis.

‘I’m selling my blood’: millions in US can’t make ends meet with two jobs

More Americans have been working two or more jobs over the past few decades, census data shows

II. True Blessing (Luke 6:20-23)

1. Believers are those who have found something worth more than those very real material blessings—worth missing out on some of them if need be. Parables of Pearl of Great Price, Treasure Hidden in a Field.

2. The difference one lasts, the other doesn’t. One is more solid than the other.

3. What is this thing that they’ve found? That which reflects verses 27-31. This is the reality of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of LOVE.

THERE is no commandment of Jesus which has caused so much discussion and debate as the commandment to love our enemies.

Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of Luke (p. 93). Westminster John Knox Press.

4. And the more one lives into this reality. The more certain one becomes of what is more real, more lasting.

Origen of Alexandria (c. 185 – c. 253)

In c. 249, the Plague of Cyprian broke out.[99] In 250, Emperor Decius, believing that the plague was caused by Christians’ failure to recognise him as divine,[99] issued a decree for Christians to be persecuted.[99][18][98] This time Origen did not escape.[18][98] Eusebius recounts how Origen suffered “bodily tortures and torments under the iron collar and in the dungeon; and how for many days with his feet stretched four spaces in the stocks”.[100][101][98] The governor of Caesarea gave very specific orders that Origen was not to be killed until he had publicly renounced his faith in Christ.[98] Origen endured two years of imprisonment and torture,[98] but obstinately refused to renounce his faith.[18][102] In June 251, Decius was killed fighting the Goths in the Battle of Abritus, and Origen was released from prison.[98] Nonetheless, Origen’s health was broken by the physical tortures enacted on him,[18][103] and he died less than a year later at the age of sixty-nine.

Conclusion

O Love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee.

I give thee back the life I owe,

that in thine ocean depths its flow

may richer, fuller be.

1882 by George Matheson

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