All Saints Day (observed) + November 6, 2016
Text: Matthew 5:1-12
We live in a world that disappoints because it can never truly satisfy—no matter how much it might promise.
Infomercials are notorious for making great promises about products, only to be told later “results may vary.”
“Read my lips: No new taxes.” No matter how Tuesday turns out, our elected officials will not fulfill all their campaign promises.
Drug commercials depict the idyllic lives of people who have been freed from the burden of arthritis, depression, and other life-altering conditions. But as you watch the actor-portrayals, they say the drug can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections, cause rashes, bleeding, and in some cases even death.
Men and women know the pain when vows are broken: “I take you, to have and to hold from this day forward…till death us do part.”
But in this world of disappointments and broken promises, there is One who never breaks His Word. Hear His Words:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
These are the words of the living and true God, who has redeemed us from sin and death by His holy precious blood, and who fills us with the hope of eternal life!
Yet even in our faith, we can become disillusioned. The Apostle John tells us that “we are children of God; and so we are!” But we see in our lives a different story—lives marked by lying, gossiping, hating one another, and indifference toward our family and neighbors. We look at the Church and see a real mess—divisions, infighting, and false teaching. Jesus prayed that we might all be one, but it looks like we’re failing.
But the Lord knows all the pains of our heart and how we see how things are and long for His deliverance. He knows how it is for us now, and describes it in all the first half of each Beatitude. No one would envy the situation we find ourselves in, being children of God in a world dominated by the devil and wicked men.
“What we will be has not yet appeared,” John tells us. It’s sometimes said that Christians on earth belong to the Church militant, shielded by faith and armed with the Word of God. The Church militant presses on, longing and striving to join that great throng pictured in Revelation 7, whose weapons of warfare have been replaced by palm branches of eternal peace.
So often, like wearied soldiers in an extended battle, our sin wants to doubt if this is all even true. Experience from this world tells us that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. But against that diabolical lie, we must remember that He who speaks these promises is not another man setting us up for disappointment. It is God who speaks, and He never lies nor do any of His Words fall to the ground.
Take heart! That snapshot from Revelation 7:9-14 is a future picture of us who believe in Christ. After all that we know in this life has passed away, we will be part of the countless multitude who have been preserved in this true faith.
Even now we enjoy glimpses of that heavenly vision. Have we not heard the voice of God who speaks to us from heaven in His holy Word? Doesn’t He speak from heaven in Baptism and say in Christ, “You are my beloved son, with you I am well-pleased.”? On this altar, doesn’t the Lord, victorious over death and the grave, give us His very Body and blood to eat and drink? These are windows into heaven, opened by God with promises delivered to you. Though they may be partial, they are by no means imperfect. As the Apostle says, “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.”
When the Lord comes again in glory, every single promise will be manifest. 1 John 3 said that we are children of God even now. What we believe now by faith, we will see come to pass in sight. Amen.
 1 John 3:1
 John 17:21
 1 John 3:2
 2 Corinthians 10:4
 Matthew 3:17
 1 Corinthians 13:12