In my church tradition (the Episcopal Church,) we always celebrate the first Sunday of November as “All Saints Day.” It’s a day when we remember Christians who have lived before our lifetime – Christians who have followed Jesus to the nth degree. Some of them, with great gusto and joy, have brought new understandings of what it means to live the kind of love that Jesus told us to live.
Others have suffered deeply, either with persecution and imprisonment, or have finally been executed for their faith. Still others have lived into a “saintly life” in the presence of the kind of suffering that comes from profound grief or bodily aches and pains that come from some physical infirmity – all while clinging to the Lord to carry them through.
We remember them all on All Saints Day, with great gratitude and with expressing the desire to also become one of the Lord’s “saints.”
Historically, in some places, All Saints Sunday was celebrated on the evening before the actual day. Hence the name “All Hallows Eve” – a phrase that has been morphed into “Halloween.” On Halloween we dress up with all kinds of costumes that represent “the dead.” If we don’t know the proper history of Halloween, we could easily fall into the trap of thinking we’re simply trying to be spooky and scary. But this tradition grew out of remembering the saintly ones who have gone before us. The very remembering is a “hallowed” moment. The very yearning to become one of the saints is a “hallowed” moment.
I’m reminded of Hebrews 11:1, 12:1-2, which says
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…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."
My question to us all: Do you want to be one of His saints? No matter what your life events have brought? He can redeem anything, you know. Anything…
And remember, you're awesome! God holds you in the palm of His hand.
2020 © Dorothy Gremillion
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