I cannot believe we have rolled over into the month of November already! November 1st has traditionally been a day that christians have set aside for remembering the communion we share with all the saints, especially those who have passed on to eternity already…that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on in our race of faith as the book of Hebrews puts it.
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.Hebrews 12:1 (CSB)
I’ve been thinking this morning how good it is to be part of a local church and for our church to be part of a whole family of churches, how good it is to remember that we are part of the universal church of believers everywhere, worshipping around the clock and around the world. It’s good to be reminded that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves. But the Body of Christ is even bigger than that! It’s everyone who has ever lived and died in Christ — the martyrs and giants of the faith as well as those unnamed brothers and sisters who lived faithfully and quietly in obscurity.
John described his vision of this multitude in the book of Revelation. And whether we’re singing our praise wearing a mask in church this morning or belting it out in our pjs on the couch, let’s be conscious that we are joining our voice with an innumerable chorus!
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb! All the angels stood around the throne, and along with the elders and the four living creatures they fell facedown before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.Revelation 7:9-12 (CSB)
And what are we singing for? Well, unlike the ancient pagans who offered sacrifices to their ancestors this time of year, we instead are giving thanks for the perfect sacrifice of Christ that atoned for sin for all time — the sins of our predecessors as well as our own. The price has been paid once and for all to bring us peace with God. Our worship is not an attempt to appease God or win His favour; it’s an overflow of our gratitude for His lavish love. It’s a song of praise that’s been sung from all eternity — from the angels to the stars that sang as God called all of creation into existence. We received this song from the lips of those who went before us, and it will be on our lips now and through all eternity. So sing it loud and clear today! Christ is worthy, and we are forever grateful!