Sermon for All Saints’ Day (observed) – 11.6.22

+ All Saints’ Day (observed) – November 6th, 2022 +

Revelation 7:2-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“Beggars and Saints”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Days before his death, Martin Luther did what he had done many times before. He threw ink at the devil. He wrote down several things on a piece of paper. Folded it. Tucked it in his pocket. Only after his death this note was found. On it, he had written these humble, yet beautiful words.


“We are beggars. This is true.”


And it’s still true today, on this All Saints’ Day. A day when we remember and give thanks to God for the lives of those family, friends, dear brothers and sisters in Christ who have died in the faith in this past year, and in years past. A day when we remember and give thanks to God for his promises given to all who believe in Christ. A day when we remember and give thanks to God for calling us to faith in Jesus, placing his holy name upon us, and declaring us to be his baptized, beloved, redeemed saints. A day when we remember and give thanks to God that we are all beggars.


Jesus begins his teaching in Matthew 5 the same way. He begins the beatitudes, and the sermon on the mount that follows, with words of blessing. Words that declare who you are in him. Words of promise. And yet, his words sound completely different from what we or the world around us expects.


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


It’s not hard to see why Jesus’ words are often mocked and ridiculed. The way of the world is the way of self-sufficiency. The way of wealth, power, control. The way of strength and pride. “I did it my way,” sang Old Blue Eyes. Maybe you’ve heard something similar from folks you’ve invited to church. “Oh, I don’t want to go to church; it’s full of hypocrites.” “You’re right,” I say, “and there’s always room for one more.”


It’s tempting, isn’t it. To give into the lie that only holy people go to church. That the church is for saints who have it all together. Who are perfect and pious in every way. In reality, the church is not a gym or a rehab center where we go to bulk up and flex our spiritual muscles or seek out religious rehabilitation. The church is more like hospice care, where the dying care for one another and the dead are raised to life in Jesus. That’s why I’ve always loved the old quote, “What’s evangelism? It’s one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”


That’s why we remember and give thanks to God for his saints on days like All Saints’ Day. Not because those who have died in the faith are a Norman Rockwell portrait of piety, but because they knew that we all come to our Lord empty handed. That we all come before Christ with nothing to offer except our sin and brokenness.


We are beggars. This is true.


That is what it means to be poor in spirit. To be blessed not because of ourselves, our holy lives or our holy words or our holy works. But you are blessed in Jesus’ holy life lived for you. Jesus’ holy words spoken to you. Jesus’ holy works done for you.


To be poor in spirit is to be completely dependent upon God’s grace. To be poor in spirit is to know that we are empty and Jesus must fill us with his overflowing mercy, that we hunger and thirst, and that Jesus gives everything we lack. That you who mourn this sinful, broken world, and your sinful, broken flesh are comforted in Jesus who loves nothing more than to give his kingdom to beggars. To turn sinners into saints, to bless the poor in spirit with all the riches of Christ’s death and resurrection. To be poor in spirit is to realize you have nothing to give God; and yet receive everything from Him by grace.


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.


In these blessings, these beatitudes, Jesus is not only declaring who you are in him, but who he is for you. From this mountain Jesus can already see the mountain of his crucifixion where he became utterly, completely, totally dependent upon the Father’s word and will in order to take our place and exalt us.


For us who are weak, Jesus became weak giving his life and final breath to bring you life forever. For us who are broken in sin, Jesus who knew no sin became sin for you that in him you would be righteous, holy, his saints. For us who are beggars, Jesus became the beggar. He emptied himself taking the form of a servant, and humbled himself unto the point of death on the cross for you. And he seats you at his heavenly banquet table here today.


For you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, Jesus gives you bread that is His body and wine that is His blood. For you who mourn the death of his saints in the past and more recent, you are comforted in the Lamb who promises to wipe away every tear from your eyes. For you who are poor in spirit, who are beggars before God, yours is the kingdom of God.


We are beggars. This is true. But blessed beggars. Saved and sainted in Jesus. This is most certainly true.



A blessed All Saints’ Day to each of you…


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

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2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977