Today is a Holy Day. It’s a day each year that we remember and give thanks for the lives of people who’ve left an indelible mark on our hearts. For some, this is a day that brings tears because the pain is still very raw after losing a loved one. For others, this is a day that might bring a smile or laughter thanks to precious memories with loved ones. Regardless of where we find ourselves, this is a Holy Day as we celebrate our loved ones who are now part of that great cloud of witnesses that we call the communion of saints.
One of my favorite preachers refers to that great cloud of witnesses as “fans in the stands.” I love this image!! The saints are the people who have run the earthly race that was set before them and who now reside in the stands of the eternal stadium (Hebrews 12:1-2). They are in that stadium cheering on each of us as we run our earthly races with Christ. Each time we remember them and each time we come to Christ’s table with them, we join together in that mystical, sweet communion. From generation to generation … from beginning to end … from Alpha to Omega … God is in all, through all, with all … we are joined together in the one body of Christ. Even though we mourn those who are no longer with us on earth, we rest in the eternal hope that we will meet again thanks to the gift God gave us in Christ.
This Sunday in worship, we will celebrate All Saints Day in several special ways. There will be a bell tree in the narthex before worship where people can pin a bell(s) in memory of their loved ones. We’ll process the bell tree into the sanctuary when worship begins, and the gentle sound of the tinkling bells will represent the singing of the saints in glory. Please make plans to arrive a few minutes before worship if you would like to pin a bell in memory of someone. In addition, we will light a candle as we name those from our congregation who have died over the past year. We’ll also light a candle to remember loved ones who were not church members but who were nonetheless important. Finally, we will come to Christ’s table to share in holy communion with those present and those who have gone on before us.
I hope you’ll join me for this meaningful time of worship, remembrance, and thanksgiving. I look forward to being with you all this Sunday!!
Rev. Malinda Weaver