Good afternoon, dear people of St. Paul! This coming Sunday we celebrate All Saints Sunday and the readings are: Psalm 149; Revelation 7:9-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12. The Christian faith is full of paradoxes. A paradox is a set of two claims that are both true even though they appear to contradict one another. (e.g. Jesus is both 100% human and 100% divine, the cross is a place of both death and life, etc.). The All Saints Sunday readings reveal another paradox of Christianity. The promise of heaven is “now and not yet”. (An illustration of this would be my son’s waking up on the day of his birthday asking, “Is it my birthday yet?” “Yes, it is!” I said. “Do I get to eat my cake and open my presents now?” he asked. “Not quite yet,” I answered.) Every Christian is in a similar situation with regard to heaven. Your name has been enrolled there even now. In your baptism, the Holy Spirit has sealed you for eternal life even now. Still, the time when you can enjoy the full experience of heavenly glory has not yet come. For now, we are not the saints of Revelation 7; we are the saints of Matthew 5, still awaiting God’s final blessing. Now and not yet. It’s a paradox. And to be sure paradoxes are not always comfortable places to live. But we have the certainty that God will one day resolve this “inbetween” way of life, and the glory of heaven will be fully and finally ours!