Scripture: “Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.” (Revelation 7:13-16)

Observation: November 1st is All Saints Day. The “LCMS Liturgical Glossary” defines All Saints Day as:

“An ancient observance on November 1 that originally commemorated the martyrs of the church (those who had died for the faith). It has since been expanded to include all who die in the faith. Because all who belong to Christ are saints, the festival also rightly emphasizes our unity with all believers, both living and dead.

The word “saint” has a wide range of meanings.  For some it implies a certain kind of piety, for others it requires a lengthy process of nomination and approval by various religious councils.  For us as Lutherans, it simply means “holy one.” And it applies to you and me as well as all those that have gone before us in faith – regardless of their holiness of living and outward piety.  While those things are good, it is faith in Christ alone that makes one a saint – living or dead.

Application:  All that said, what great comfort we can take in seeing this great vision that God gave to the Apostle John and which he recorded in the book of Revelation for us to see.  It’s a simple image, but a compelling one… all those who have ever believed in Christ stand in his presence and worship Him! … And they do so in perfect peace and contentment… with no more hunger, thirst, crying or pain!

It doesn’t take much effort to see that all around us is an incredible hunger for God’s presence. One look at the news surrounding us and we realize that we do not live in a world where the peace, wholeness and restoration that is described in Revelation is present.  Whether aware of it or not, the world longs for these things to come to pass.  And for those of us who have faith, we hunger for the glory of God to be shining in our lives, relationships and the world!  The Good News is that we know NOW what is yet to be revealed to all mankind!

Prayer:  Lord, help me temper my frustrations and impatience as I await for your return with a strong awareness of your promises of fulfillment, restoration and glory!  And Lord, comfort me with the knowledge that all the saints are in your presence even today.  Amen.