Sunday, November 4, 2012

All Saints Sunday

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." - Hebrews 12:1-2
I love these two verse of scripture and I am brought back to them frequently, today, all saints Sunday, I come back to these verses (and so many others, however when I typed this these two verses are on the top of the list, twenty minutes from now it could be different). I can't help but think of the cloud of witnesses who surrounds me both the ones living and the ones who have had an influence upon who I am today. I give thanks for the lives of the saints, the ones I have met and and the ones I haven't. I give thanks for the saints who spoke with confidence and acted with justice for others. I give thanks for the saints who have inspired me in so many ways. I also give thanks for the saints living around me each and every day.
While I know there is more to life than the here and now, I grieve the phone calls I can't make, the weddings my family and friends won't be at, the stories I can't tell them, the days that they aren't here. I grieve not for them but selfishly, I grieve the times they are missing and the time we'll never get to share. 
Thanks be to God that death doesn't have the final word, while I don't undstand how life and death works, I know death comes as a great equalizer in this world, it doesn't matter who we are or aren't. Death doesn't care how old or how young we are, death rears it's head in expected and unexpected ways. In the midst of it all I trust in the promises of God that death doesn't have the final say but rather life and life abundantly. All Saints Sunday comes as bittersweet, all saints Sunday comes as a welcome and unwelcomed guest. While I am not worshipping today with the congregation I serve, I will pause, pray, reflect, and remember the Saints present and past.
Who do you remember this All Saints Sunday?
How do you celebrate the lives of the saints?

1 comment:

  1. Even though it's been more than a year for both of them, I always think of my parents on All Saints Sunday. This year, I also thought of my cousin Brian and his mother, who died within 16 days of each other this summer. And I thought of the guy whose funeral I did; my first ordained funeral, and what a gift it was for me to get my feet wet with a "good" death. I celebrated All Saints by leading worship at my congregation and at the Memory Care Community I go to a couple times a month. They're good stuff who remind me that these old saints, who are "put away" are still very valuable, very loved, and very able to witness to the love they still know and experience through Jesus. It's pretty amazing.