Dear saints of God, this weekend we celebrate All Saints Sunday. (Remember the time change – on Saturday evening we “fall back” an hour.) The readings for Sunday are: Matthew 5:1-12; 1 John 3:1-3; Revelation 7:9-17; Psalm 149.
I know some people who don’t like to be kept in suspense. They’ll flip right to the last page of a book or fast-forward through a movie because they can’t wait to see how it ends. God must have great sympathy for such people, because His Word does not leave us in suspense when it comes to the ultimate outcome of our lives. Still, waiting for God to keep His promises is not easy. In each of Sunday’s readings you can hear God speaking to this tension of living in both the present and the future – the “now” and the “not yet” of our faith.
Notice the back-and-forth movement between present and past tense in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. We are blessed now because of what God will do for us in the future (Matt 5). John talks in this same way when he says “We are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared” (1 John 3). The book of revelation does us a huge favor by fast-forwarding us to the end of time where we see all God’s children gathered before His throne in heaven (Rev 7). Finally, the psalmist observes that God “adorns the humble with salvation” (Ps 149). Waiting on God to act can be hard for even the strongest Christians. But at least we know how our story ends. By holding on to His promises, we will persevere.