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Plymouth United Church of Christ
Making a more loving world
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Open and Affirming
2010 Moholt Dr. (Directions)
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Worship at 10:30 am Sunday
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“Death Is Not the End”
Sermon, Year A, All Souls and All Saints Day, November 2, 2014
Plymouth United Church of Christ, Eau Claire, WI
© Rev. David J. Huber
Focus Scripture: Rev. 7:9-17 and Matthew 5:1-13

Today is All Saints/All Souls Day. We have a lot of music and a lot of prayers today, so I will let those do most of the speaking. I’m not going to talk much here.

If you’ve been here for a funeral or a memorial service, you’ve heard the message that I tend to give. You’ve heard my words about how we, as followers of Jesus, are an Easter people. Not people of death, but people of life, because God is a God of life. And even after our bodies die, we live on in eternal life with God and with all who have gone before us. We don’t know what that looks like or how it works, but we have that assurance that we go on. Even after our bodies die.

Our God is a God of life. A God of life, love, and hope. Not a God of death, wrath, and anger, but a God of life, hope, and abundant love. So the focus is not on the afterlife, but on this life. The life that we are living. And on this day, we can look to the lives of the saints who have gone before us. The saints who have passed on our traditions for almost two thousand years in the Church. Look to how they lived while we are alive to see how to live. To look at the lives of others of whatever faith they are from, who have shown us how to live. Those who have shown us how to be God’s people as we strive to create God’s realm here on earth. God’s vision here on earth.

Those who have gone before us that we remember today have shown us what a life of faith looks like. How to live faithfully. Some of them have also shown us how to die faithfully. How to die with dignity, with grace, with love and courage, and with faith in the face of death. How to face our mortality even as we live as fully as we dare to live in God’s abundant life, embracing the life that God wants us to live. So today is a day to remember those who have died. And to do so by celebrating and remembering how they showed us to live. What they showed us, what they taught us as they passed on their faith to us as they shared fellowship with us here in the church, and also outside the church as they served their families, their friends, and their community. We can remember what we have learned from them by sharing meals and passing on stories. We are a people who love stories and communicate with them. We pass them on to the next generation, whether it be sharing them here at church, or at the supper table at home, around a campfire late at night or in the car on long trips, or family gatherings on holidays.

Through us these people live on. Through stories, through what they shared with us and taught us. They also live on in our memories. Our remembrances of them. How we remember and share stories about them, they will live on in us as they live on with God. As we live our lives here and now we stand on the shoulders of the people that we remember today. The church that they built, the world they built, the community they built for us. We stand on the shoulders of those who have lifted us up to show us grander horizons, pointing us toward God, saying, “Live this way! Go this way!”

And so thanks be to God this day for all of the saints that we remember. The ones that we will read the names of, and the ones that will be remembered by us silently or in other ways. Thanks be to God for all the saints we remember today. Amen.

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Plymouth United Church of Christ
2010 Moholt Drive
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 54703

Webpastor: Pastor David