This past week Halloween was observed. A few little Spidermen and dinosaurs braved the cold and rain to stop at the door for candy. They are probably enjoying their bounty now as I write these words. There is also another observance that will be done at worship on Sunday. Halloween got its name from “All Hallows Eve” which is the night before we recognize the saints on All Saints Day. We remember those martyred for the faith. We remember those faithful ones who were amazing examples of the faith to us. Each passing year my list of those who have died has grown. I miss them. I am thankful for them because of the great hope they have passed on to me.
This Sunday names will be read and candles will be lit to honor the saints. The saints who taught us in Sunday school. The grandparents who drove us to worship. Those who showed us how to face death with a living hope of a resurrection to come in Christ Jesus. The saints who walked among the terror, hate, violence, greed of this world and refused to surrender to its alluring manipulation. Their faith kept pointing to Christ and the kingdom of God where the pain, the sickness and death will be no more. The reading from Luke lists people the world thinks are a bunch of losers. The poor, hungry and excluded are called the blessed by God because their hope is kept in Christ and the kingdom.
The saints are simply those forgiven by God in Christ. Their lives are an expression of that new life forgiveness grants. By the grace of God, we too are the forgiven in Christ and numbered among the saints as well. It is now up to us to pass this blessing on to others. My writing is a little shorter today. Take the extra time to say a prayer of thanks for the saints who blessed you.