November 5, 2023

A50: The Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost (All Saints’ Sunday), Year A (2023)

Kristin Adkins Whitesides

Rev. Dr. Kristin Adkins Whitesides, pastor of First Baptist Church, Winchester, Virginia begins today’s sermon by admitting that she doesn’t like tension in movies or book plots. She admits that sometimes she’ll skip to the end of a book and read a little to see how the story is going to end before she can continue reading. She says, “When I read the book of Revelation, I sometimes begin to wonder if I ought to stick to lighter reading.” In the midst of the evil happening in the book of Revelation, today’s passage, Revelation 7:9-17, gives a reprieve, a “new sort of vision…in the midst of stories of terror and pain, in the midst of visions of monsters and lakes of fire, all of a sudden, the sounds of singing swell around us as we find ourselves in heaven…a place of physical healing…but also a place in which wrongs are set right, unjust systems are remade, and the abundance of God is shared.” On All Saints’ Sunday, this reprieve is a good reminder that while we cannot look ahead and see how our stories will be written, we have hope because we know the good news, we know how it all ends.

Manuscript available: click HERE