All Saints Day
How can we be happy (joyful, blessed) in the presence of death, persecution, suffering and oppression? The happiness Jesus is talking about is not the happy-go-lucky kind. It is more like the defiance to succumb to death and desperation. We do not deny the tragedies, failures, and losses in our life, but we do not give ourselves over to them to determine our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
We defy the forces of death and desperation by declaring ourselves to be disciples of Christ. By turning towards God and neighbor, we resist and overcome anger and fear and transform into the hands of Christ. Instead of focusing on our suffering alone, we extend our compassion to others who are suffering as well, thereby reducing our own suffering as well as the suffering of others.
Rev. Kristin Luana Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA.
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