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This is the text I preached off of for the children's sermon at both the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Church of the Ascension. As you might imagine, the actual sermons I gave were significantly different than each other, as a result of having two somewhat different audiences.

Revelation 7:9-17
Psalm 34:1-10, 22
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

Today we celebrate All Saints’ Day, which was on Tuesday. Most of the time we celebrate one saint at a time, or maybe two or three or a certain group of people, but on All Saints’ Day we celebrate ALL the saints. Does anyone know how many saints that is, how many saints there are all together?

Well, there were twelve disciples, right? And Joseph and Mary, Jesus’ mom and dad, so that’s at least fourteen. What other saints can you think of?

What about the saint we usually celebrate with a party at the beginning of next month? He wears red and sometimes likes to give presents to kids.

In this book [hold up Holy Women, Holy Men], there’s a couple hundred different saints that we celebrate at different parts of the Church year, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You know what that means, the tip of the iceberg?

Icebergs are big blocks of ice, right? And when they float in the water, you can only see a little piece of them floating on top of the water--most of the ice is underwater, where you can’t see it. The people in this book, and all the saints with “Saint” in front of their name, they’re the tip of the iceberg--the part that’s easy to see. But what makes an iceberg such a big deal is all that part that’s under the water, that you can’t see but is still there. With the saints, we call that entire iceberg--all the saints put together--the “communion” of saints.

In the passage [X] read from the Revelation, which is a very weird book from the very back of the Bible, St. John the Divine--there’s another one!--talks about a “a great multitude [that means ‘a lot’] that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.”

We don’t actually know how many saints there are, but there’s a lot of them, probably in the billions. That’s a lot of saints, isn’t it?

What do you think you need to do to become a saint?

Do you think saints make mistakes sometimes?

Did you know St. Nicholas punched somebody? He was at a big meeting of all the Church leaders, and they were trying to work out the Trinity--the relationship between God, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Somebody said something he disagreed with, and he got so mad that he just punched the guy. That wasn’t a very good thing for him to do, was it?

Will you pray with me?

“Lord, we thank You for Your saints. We pray that we may be inspired by their example, so that we may join them in Your Presence. Amen.”
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My Prayer

"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best."
-- St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

All entries copyrighted © 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Cole J. Banning


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