We remember all those—famous or obscure—who has passed.
Please join us on Sunday, November 06, 2022
10:00 a.m. Worship Service
to remember loved ones.
On All Saints Day you are invited to bring a framed photograph of a loved one who has gone on before you. As the opening hymn is sung, you’ll be invited to bring the photo of your saint down front to the chancel, where it will be placed around the Lord’s Table as a sign of our eternal communion with them in eternity. You are welcome to take your photograph home with you after worship
SERMON for All Saints 2022
All Saints Day is an opportunity to give thanks for all those who have gone before us in the faith. From the early days of Christianity, the Church has always considered that our church membership consists not only of all living believers, but also all who have gone before us, encouraging us, being an example to us.
And so our scripture reading this All Saints Sunday comes from the book of Revelation, the 21st chapter, verses 1-7.
Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:1-7 NRSV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
Reflection: The Bitter and the Sweet: All Saints Day
The writer of the Revelation of John has a vision. It’s of a time where heaven and earth will be one and there will be no more division between us. Instead, we will all be together. And there will be no more tears. No more mourning and crying and pain. But until that day, there is a veil that separates the living and the dead – separates where we are and they are.
And yet, according to Celtic Christianity, there are still some times - and there are still some places - here on earth – where there is a thinning of that veil that separates us: a thin place, they call it – like a hole peeking through. All Saints Day is just such a thin time. And today, this church is just such a thin place.
Today we remember the names of 6 members and friends of this church who died in the last year. We can see them in our minds eye. We remember Joan Davis, playing her guitar and singing “This Little Light of Mine.”
We remember Patricia Moore and her beautiful art. Clarice Boss: such a long-time member of this community. Lois Palcek who went to the second service and sat up front because she said she didn’t want to miss a thing. And we remember Leah Victora who only knew love on this earth, she only knew that she was loved.
On All Saints – we remember them. But we come to it filled with a bundle of emotions. It’s a bittersweet day. While our gratitude for this family of faith is full, our spiritual pain still may be a constant companion – whether it be 5 weeks – or 4 months or 3 years or 2 decades after the death of our loved ones.
Some of us come to this day still raw with the grief, others of us come - and we are reminded of these losses - that we, as a church carry – but for us - it has been more of a dull ache lately. So when we hear the names read - of those who’ve died and will see no longer - or - when this occasion causes us to think of our own losses of personal friends, family members maybe – it can be rather like ripping a scab off a wound. And that is part of All Saints Day and it is healthy and it is holy and we bear it always with the Promised Comforter who is with us and beside us.
But even so, I believe that All Saints Day - is and will always be, more sweet than it is bitter. Because on this day - even with tears in our eyes and rolling down our cheeks – what we do here - is we robustly proclaim the truth of Scripture; that a day will come - when that veil will be finally lifted - and time itself will fade away and we will live together in eternity.
We will live in that place where God dwells with God’s people - wiping away all tears from our eyes. We will dwell in that place where death itself will be no more, and mourning, and crying, and pain will be no more.
On that day, reunited with loved ones, we will bask in God’s love as we feast at his heavenly Banquet, making all joy complete. That is our promise – and that is our faith.
So until that day, we labor on – not as those without hope, but surrounded by our community of faith here on earth and lifted up by the communion of saints, who are surrounding us, encouraging us, and cheering us on.
As the Good Book says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith.” (Hebrews 21).