Root and Branch Church

Andrew Packman - Ice Balls or Fire Balls - November 2nd, 2014

November 12, 2014

On All Saints Day, Christians have traditionally remembered those they have lost. Co-pastor reflects on the hope that despite the reality of death, all will be well.

Readings:
Revelation 7:9-17
  • After this I looked, and behold, a great countless crowd from every nation and tribe and people and tongue, standing before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and with palms in their hands; and they shouted loudly saying, "Salvation to our God who is enthroned and to the Lamb." And all the angels stood around the throne with the elders and the four living creatures and prostrated themselves before the throne and worshipped God saying, "Amen; praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might to our God forever and ever; Amen." And one of the elders spoke to me saying, "Who are these who are clothed in bright robes and from whence have they come?" And I said to him, "My Lord, you know". And he said to me, "These are the people who have come through the great ordeal and have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  On this account, they are before the throne of God, and they worship night and day in his Sanctuary, and he who is enthroned will shelter them.  They shall not hunger anymore or thirst anymore, neither shall the sun nor any scorching heat fall upon them, because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
"Four Poems in One" 
Anne Porter
At six o'clock this morning
I saw the rising sun
Resting on the ground like a boulder
In the thicket back of the school,
A single great ember
About the height of a man
* * *
Night has gone like a sickness,
The sky is pure and whole.
Our Lady of Poland spire
Is rosy with first light,
Starlings above it shatter their dark flock.
Notes of the Angelus
Leave their great iron cup
And slowly, three by three
Visit the Polish gardens round about,
Dahlias shaggy with frost
Sheds with their leaning tools
Rosebushes wrapped in burlap
Skiffs upside down on trestles
Like dishes after supper.
* * *
These are the poems I'd show you
But you're no longer alive.
The cables creaked and shook
Lowering the heavy box.
The rented artificial grass
Still left exposed
That gritty gash of earth
Yellow and mixed with stones
Taking your body
That never in this world
Will we see again, or touch.
* * *
We know little
We can tell less
But one thing I know
One thing I can tell
I will see you again in Jerusalem
Which is of such beauty
No matter what country you come from
you will be more at home there
Than ever with father or mother
Than even with lover or friend
And once we're within her borders
Death will hunt us in vain.