In years of travels to churches near and far, I am always drawn to stained glass windows, especially those that depict the saints. Some are familiar to me but others less so. Yet among all the windows, I rarely see the faces of the saints that have impacted me most directly – family, friends, church members, faith mentors, pastors, and even a few bishops. They will probably never be depicted in such a lasting way. Yet they are stained glass saints in my eyes, and this All Saints’ Sunday I will be giving thanks for them! I imagine you have such people in your life of faith to remember, honor, and celebrate this week too.
We worship on the first day of the week because Jesus was raised on that day. Every Sunday is a little Easter. This Sunday feels more like Easter than many because it is All Saints’ Sunday and the appointed texts celebrate the reality of the resurrection. When the Sadducees encounter Jesus with a technical question, he responds with the good news of the resurrection for all people and by naming the Lord as God of the Living. The answer Jesus gives is about God’s promise of resurrection in the face of death, and about life in the face of and in spite of death. Like Job, who was surrounded by the remnants of his lost life and still proclaimed hope, Jesus is in the midst of palpable tension that very soon will lead him to his own death, and yet he proclaims life. These texts proclaim hope in the face of hopelessness and urge us to “know that [our] Redeemer lives.” Join us this Sunday as we light candles and celebrate all the saints – past, present, and future – and reflect their light into the world.