All Saint's Sunday November 3, 2019
In the Gospel reading for All Saint's Sunday, Jesus defines what is meant by faithful living. He is also describing what life is like in the Kingdom of God. It is here we see an absolute reversal of what we value here on earth.
It does not take much to figure out what Jesus means. If you are rich and do not use your money wisely you can expect not to have much in the Kingdom. If you are poor you are more likely to turn to God while you live here on earth. You can fully expect that life will be much easier and far more pleasant for you in the Kingdom of God
Jesus is talking about the last days as He picks up a theme that Isaiah started way back in the Old Testament. It also marks the beginning of Jesus ministry. Jesus is pointing to a final judgement and a reversal of fortunes in which the hardships of this present life will disappear in God's Kingdom.
It may not be noticeable in my Sunday sermons, but I do a lot of research in preparation for a sermon. This week is rather different. It is a lot more personal than usual. As we think about the people we love and have died, we also think about our own spiritual life.
I realize that something has been missing for me and has been missing for a long time and that is having a "spiritual mentor." As I think about my spiritual life I realize that I get a lot of insight from my conversations with you, this congregation, at coffee hour, on Wednesday Morning Prayer, on pastor visits, and our special studies like the Purpose Driven Life that we finished recently.
But at one time I also had a spiritual director, someone to talk to about my faith. I talked to Father Ben Priest at the Oratory of the Little Way for a time and then Mother Elise at Melrose Convent in Brewster for a time. They were all older than me and have since died.
But it is hard to find a mentor who is older than I am and loves the Lord. So, I have been without a mentor for some time.
Last week I found a mentor and he agreed to take me on. He is the author of several spiritual books that I have read. I really like the way he writes. He is younger than I am, and he is not ordained. He just happens to sit next to me at my Monday evening Bible Study. It is just as if the Lord set it all up for me.
In my reading for All Saints Sunday, I ran across one writer who said that you should value any friend with whom you share your faith. That person becomes your mentor. And you probably are a mentor to them.
Husbands and wives are natural mentors for each other. I think the message today is not to take spiritual friends for granted. Practice listening. Don't argue. Ask questions for greater understanding. If you have a testimony, be sure to share it---if it seems appropriate.
We should hear more about testimonies. A testimony has three steps. What was your life like before you met Jesus? How did you meet Jesus? How is your life different now?
There must be a turning point, the point in your life when Jesus came alive for you. That is something that you cannot fake. If you do not have a conversion to share just be a good listener. If someone wants to share a spiritual insight with you, always be ready to listen.
This church has done a lot for me in my spiritual convictions. Just think of what it can be like if everyone in this church had someone to talk to about your personal issues of faith. Everyone would be excited about growing spiritually and it would show in the life of the parish.