NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR ALL SAINTS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2017

Wednesday, November 1st was All Saints Day, a Christian festival honoring all saints known and unknown. We will observe this festival on Sunday in what we at Covenant call “Our Great Cloud of Witnesses” service.

Death is an unpleasant reality of life. This past week we saw another senseless tragic act of hate in New York City that caused the death of 8 people. Over the past 3 weeks, I have attended the funerals of two friend’s fathers; while facing the death of a close first cousin and dear family friend. With so much death in such a short span, it’s easy to suffer from accumulated grief making the struggles of life seem overwhelming.

At times like these, I’m thankful for the comfort and hope I find in scripture.

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

I Thessalonians 4:13, “Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope.”

In these passages, I find “The Power of Hope” in being reminded that:

(1) The weight of the death of loved ones doesn’t diminish the impact of them on my life.

(2) Despite death as part of the challenges of life, I can live life to the fullest with hope.

(3) Those dear to me that have died, are cheering me on in life.

(4) I’m still here because God has a plan for my life. And your life too!

Join us at Covenant for a time of remembering and sharing with others those who are “our great cloud of witnesses.” Bring pictures of them and place them on the altar. I will be preaching a sermon on the “The Power of Hope” that we have because of them in Christ from I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Hebrews 12:1-2a

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