The Greatest Commandment

A postcard from the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost 10/31/21

Post-church Acolyte Training at the Church of the Messiah in Heflin. Two new acolytes are ready to help celebrate Messiah’s 40th Anniversary next week!

Today is All Saints Day.

It is one of the seven principal feast days in The Episcopal Church, and the only one that is allowed to be celebrated on November 1 or the Sunday following. It is also one of the four days recommended for baptisms.

In our gospel reading yesterday, Jesus said,

The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

[Mark 12:28-34]

In The Episcopal Church we have a calendar of saints that we celebrate because “in the lives of the saints is the presence of Christ expressing itself in and through particular lives lived in the midst of specific historical circumstances.” It is not that the saints were perfect, but their lives offer examples of living a life loving God completely and loving neighbor.

On All Saints Day we remember all those named saints that we celebrate and those unnamed saints. We are knit together in the body of Christ and we continue to be encouraged by their life and witness. In learning about the saints, we can better learn to live into our calling of loving God and loving neighbor.

A Prayer for All Saints Day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

A sermon from the Church of the Messiah in Heflin:

Audio only available here

Coming next

We will move through the final weeks of the liturgical year exploring the gospel texts of the day.

  • Nov. 7 – Messiah, Heflin / All Saints Day and Celebrating 41 years of ministry at the Church of the Messiah / The Raising of Lazarus John 11:32-44
  • Nov. 14 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke / Signs Mark 13:1-8
  • Nov. 21 – Messiah, Heflin / Christ the King John 18:33-37

Published by akhudlow

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. I am a church nerd, printmaker, storyteller, and blogger.

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