Reflections: All Saints’ Day

Today’s Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Matthew 21:1-22

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 5:3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. All Saints’ Day is a day of backwards blessings. Our Lord sets it up this way, as He pronounces blessings upon people who don’t seem like they are blessed at all.  It’s backwards from what natural man’s reason and senses think it should be.  Instead of the popular, the talented, the good-looking or the rich having such blessings, it’s backwards.  Those who mourn, who are poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are pure when purity is mocked, even those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, Jesus says, “You are blessed.”

What nonsense is this?  For our fallen reason, this is backwards.  Jesus picks people who seem the least blessed by God, and says they are blessed.  But something very profound is going on here.  Jesus blesses people not because of their current situation.  He instead blesses people because of what their future will be.  He is speaking here to those who trust in Him, His invisible church of all believers.  It is as if Jesus is saying, “Because of what your future will be through faith in Me, you are blessed now.”

Because yours is the kingdom of heaven, blessed are the poor in spirit.  This is you if you know your sins, regret them, and want to be clean.  So trust in God, from whom all blessings flow.  Trust His Son, crucified for your sins and risen for your justification.  Trust that His forgiveness is for you.  Because you will be comforted with the blessings of everlasting salvation, blessed are you who mourn now.  In this life, the devil remains our enemy, and grieves us.  But by God’s blessing through faith in Christ, you overcome the devil, even if sometimes tears flow.  

While these may seem like backwards blessings, it is actually we who were turned around, and not these blessings.  We could not put them right. Now through faith in Christ and hearing His Word, we are set straight again to receive God’s blessings because of what Jesus will do for those who believe Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, You knit together Your faithful people of all times and places into one holy communion, the mystical body of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Grant us so to follow Your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, we may come to the unspeakable joys You have prepared for those who love You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

-Pastor Robert Mayes is Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Beemer and Wisner, NE,

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.