Okay, I’ll admit it. Halloween is a bit of fun. We had a grand time last night handing out candy, popcorn, hot chocolate, and connection cards at Fusion Homebase. We even had an epic light saber battle between Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny (in my estimation, Santa dominated that poor rabbit). After it was all said and done, the whole group that helped went and had pizza together and the fun continued. So it’s safe to assume that we had a blast on Halloween.
BUT, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about the holiday after Halloween the whole night. As much fun as we had with Halloween, my mind and heart was firmly fixed on All Saints Day. In the Roman Catholic Church, All Saints Day is for the celebration of all saints known and unknown. Their definition of saint is quite a bit different than us Protestants, so that makes a key difference. In our tradition, one must not be named a Saint by the Pope to become a Saint. All Christians at every time in every place are the Saints.
So, as Protestants, we spend this day remembering the Saints who have gone before us; those who brought to us the Living Water of Jesus Christ in some way or another; but who we see no longer. They have died in the Lord. Those saints in our lives have become a part of our cloud of witnesses, continuing to cheer us on in this life.
Who are the saints in your life that went before you? Those who influenced your spiritual journey, your life?
I think, of course, of my great-grandpa Koehler. He died in 2008, but his example in faithfulness to the Church lives on. His encouragement of my vocational call to ministry is still audible in my mind.
I know that he stands as a part of my cloud of witnesses urging me on to deeper levels of devotion to Christ.
I think of Amer, a man from my Cornell congregation who died this past year. Amer was in constant contact with me from day one in this parish. He always had a warm smile and word of encouragement. He dedicated a large majority of his life to serving his church. When we come to making decisions about the future of the Church, I always think of Amer. I think of the day he stood up in church and said he didn’t particularly care for some of the changes the new pastor (me) was making because they were out of his comfort zone, but he was going to go with them because he wanted his church to continue to glorify Christ after he was gone.
Those are just two of the many saints that I remember, that I honor, this day. Who are the Saints that you honor and remember today? I’d love to hear about them.