In this week’s edition of our weekly Wednesday newsletter, Scott reflects on All Saints’ Day–a day for remembering, celebrating, hoping, and praying.
Dear friends in Christ,
Today the church celebrates the Feast of All Saints. Today we exult in the triumph of the glorious witnesses who have gone before us, saints who testified to Jesus Christ by word and deed.
Today, we remember. We remember the ways in which women and men have shown forth Christ’s light. Some were political leaders who governed with equity. Others were clergy or lay people who called the church to renewal and, sometimes, repentance. Doctors and farmers and parents and students have all witnessed to God’s love. We grow in our own journey because we see their example.
via Toward Emmaus
Today, we celebrate. We celebrate how God’s love has triumphed over the powers of evil in many ways. We celebrate the communion of saints, the reality that our earthly lives are enriched by the presence of so many saints around the eternal throne of God in glory everlasting.
Today, we pray. We pray to God, but we might also ask the saints to pray for us. While our teaching is clear that Jesus is our only mediator and advocate, our tradition also can encourage us to invite the saints’ prayers. It’s a bit like asking a neighbor or a friend to pray for us. In this case, we might ask a particular saint to pray for us because of their witness or their experience.
Today, we hope. We have hope that we too will join the heavenly company of saints. To celebrate All Saints’ Day is also to celebrate God’s promises that we can dwell in light everlasting.
That covers today. Tomorrow we will mourn. On what is often called All Souls’ Day (formally, the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed), we remember those who have died and who are dear to us personally. We mourn their loss and pray that they are enjoying God’s presence eternally.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention the day which follows All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. The next day, November 3, is the day we unveil the line-up of saints for Lent Madness in the coming year. Lent Madness, if you haven’t heard of it, is a slightly irreverent online Lenten devotion in which saints compete for the Golden Halo. Each day of Lent, people visit the Lent Madness website (lentmadness.org) and vote for a saint. It’s fun, but it also teaches us about the saints in a refreshing way. We call the unveiling day All Brackets’ Day, because it is the day the bracket (match-ups) for the saintly competition is unveiled. Visit the Lent Madness website this Friday to see which saints will be battling for the Golden Halo during Lent 2018.
On a more serious note, on this All Saints’ Day, I invite you to remember, celebrate, pray, and hope. You will be blessed.