I love All Saints Sunday! It is a day set aside to remember those who have died – those who have gone before us to be with Christ for all eternity. During worship on November 5th, I will read the names of our congregation members who have joined the church triumphant since last November, and then each of you will have an opportunity to light a candle in honor those you have loved and lost in the last year. These flames will remind us of the light of Christ that comes into our lives when we experience loss, to light the way in our darkness.
We will also share the sacrament of Holy Communion – the ritual feast which binds us together across time and place, the sacred meal which unites us with all believers of any era who have ever served Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Lord’s Supper is always meaningful – reminding us that through Jesus Christ we receive God’s grace, and are set free to new life in faithfulness and joy. On All Saints Sunday, as we gather around Christ’s table, we imagine all those we love gathered together in God’s presence for all eternity. I imagine loved ones in heaven feasting as we are sharing the bread and cup. I remember and rejoice that they now know perfect peace.
At the end of November we share another feast. Thanksgiving is an excellent reason to eat a whole lot of stuffing…one of my favorite foods ever… but it is also a reminder to give thanks to God in all circumstances, and to remember to whom we belong and from whom all our blessings come. Even when bad things are happening, Thanksgiving reminds us to pause and look for good. Like the old hymn invites, Count Your Many Blessings and know that you are loved. So, with these “bookend” holidays, the whole month of November becomes a chance to reflect on God’s goodness and grace.
May our November be blessed, as individuals and as a congregation, as we celebrate that goodness and grace! Rev. Carman