This is Halloween. My kids have their costumes ready (finally). Last night, I carved four pumpkins – now all ready to go out on the porch tonight. I love the decorations, traditions and the fun of Halloween. All Hallows Eve gets its name from the tradition of the night before All Saints Day, and the reflection on those saints who went before us in faith. The Book of Revelation helps give us our call for this day: “…a voice from heaven saying…’Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord…they rest from their labors.” Blessed indeed are the dead who die in the Lord. May we all get there someday. In the meantime, as we celebrate today, let us lift up a prayer of thanksgiving today for those special people who went before us in faith and who helped share the people we are today. May God bless them.
Revelation 14:1-13 –
1Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth. 4It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, 5and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.
6Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 8Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
9Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, “Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, 10they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
12Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.
13And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”