All Saints is one of the most significant feast days in the church year. The celebration that God has made us his own and given us an identity through baptism is a celebration that we have been redeemed and marked as Christ’s own forever. In a nutshell, All Saints is a celebration that we are no longer bound to the temporary nature of this world and that things around us that fade so quickly are not the things of our lives, but a reminder that we have something more than this fleeting life.
So, I invite you to consider what surrounds us. With eyes that see the worldly goods that surround us we see things that are passing away. Nothing that we currently have will last forever. Our cars wear out, our technology will soon be outdated, and the rest of the stuff that makes up our day to day surroundings are temporary. This at first seems bleak, and so I ask your graciousness in sticking with me to this point.
When we are faced with the temporal limitations of this life, we can restore comfort through the assurance that there is more. All Saints is an observance that we are perpetually surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and one day we will join that cloud to rest and rejoice in God’s peace and light. And so, as we have passed All Hallows Eve (which we call Halloween), let us take a moment to realize that we have a multitude of baptized members of Christ’s Church always with us. I like to think of them constantly rooting for us. They rejoice when do the things that bring us true life and they are empathetic when our mistakes and tendencies result in a feeling of alienation. We have the whole company of heaven behind us desiring for us to know as they know and to be joyful as they are joyful.
May you be blessed with a sense of connection to all that has been and all that is to come this All Saints Sunday. We are all one of many members and we are all knit closely together through God’s love.
Angelico, F. (15th Century). The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs. National Gallery, London. [Painting].