Surrounded by Saints

Saints window

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia! – William How, Ralph Williams

This Sunday the church celebrates All Saints’ Sunday. Since the earliest Christian martyrs, the Church has remembered the saints who have gone before us. I am reminded of a story of a small girl who went to church with her mother on a sunny Sunday morning. She was enthusiastic about the many colorful glass figures that the sun traced through the stained glass windows onto the floor, and she excitedly asked her mother what this and that meant. Her Mom whispered that this was such-and-such saint. Sometime afterward, in Sunday School class, the teacher asked if anybody knew what a saint was. The excited girl, raising her hand, said, “I do. A saint is someone that the light shines through!”

When I think of the saints, I think of official church saints like St. Matthew and St. Mary Magdalene, St. Paul and St. Peter. When I think of the saints, I also think about my grandparents and all of YOU! We often mistakenly think of saints as perfect Christians who lived long ago, but if we look more closely we see that this is not the case. The saints of the church are just like us – human. In fact the saints of the church are us! On All Saints’ Sunday, November 7th we celebrate all the saints as we walk among the saints on earth, give thanks for the saints in heaven, and marvel at the Church throughout history. The saints of the past have inspired our faith. Whose faith will we saints inspire in the future?

The scriptures for this All Saints’ Sunday are Psalm 24, Revelation 21:1-6a, and John 11:32-34. Songs for this Sunday are #873 “Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart” vs. 1, 2 &5, #422 “For All the Saints” vs. 1, 2 & 6, and #423 “Shall We Gather at the River”. We give thanks to this week’s Worship Leaders, Production Crew, and Musicians!

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