“Give Thanks for All the Saints Who ‘From Their Labor Rest'” by The Rev. Kaji Douša

November 3rd,2022 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dearly Beloved,

This week, we come together in worship to observe one of the most important days of the year – All Saints. I absolutely love this day of remembrance because it’s a time to give thanks for all of the saints who “from their labor rest.”

In the sermon, I’ll encourage us to call to mind each of our loved ones we especially want to remember right now, as we sit with our grief and give thanks for God’s everlasting care.

Also, I want to encourage you to save the date for the upcoming congregational budget conversation and our subsequent vote the following week. This next year, the church will need to make very deep cuts to our budget that we will all – particularly the people we serve – feel substantially. You want to pay attention, offer the gift of your thoughts and ideas, keep the congregation in prayer. We take our congregational polity seriously, so we’re all in it together! So please join us as we do our collective work to best steward the resources God has granted us.

Please do join me in celebrating with National City Christian Church as they have officially called Rev. Stephanie Kendell to be their next Senior Pastor! What an honor it was for our church to be part of her journey.

I’ll close with all of the verses of William Walsham How’s emblematic hymn: For All The Saints. Join us as we remember.

1 For all the saints who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 Oh, may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
and win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4 Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5 And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave again and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6 The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warriors cometh rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7 But, lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8 From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Pastor Kaji

Scripture: Matthew 27:50-56 (Year W, p. 524):

50 Jesus cried again with a loud voice and relinquished his spirit. 51 Then, look! The curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom in two. And the earth was shaken, and the rocks were split. 52 And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 Then after his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now when the centurion and those with him, who were standing guard over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

55 Now there were many women there, from a distance watching; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had ministered to him. 56 Among them were Mary the Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.