This Sunday is All Saints Sunday in the Church calendar. November 1st is actually “All Saints Day”, but most people are more familiar with the day before – “All Hallows (Saints) Eve”, or “Halloween”. All Saints Day is meant to be a day to reflect upon the lives of those who have gone before us in the faith to bring us where we are today and give God thanks for their lives. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, wrote in his journal on November 1, 1767 that it’s “a festival I truly love.” On November 1, 1788 he said, “I always find this a comfortable day.” Then, one year later he called it “a day that I peculiarly love.” It seems strange to think of All Saints Day in these terms, yet I think he was on to something.
At St. Luke’s, we often talk about “the saints on whose shoulders we stand”. All Saints Day is celebrating just that. It’s a day for us to reflect on those in our own lives who have loved us and whom we have loved that have entered into life eternal. All Saints Sunday is a day for us to celebrate that together as a family of faith and remember those in our church family who have given, sacrificed, and worked so hard to give us the church we have today. We will give God thanks for them on this Sunday!
On All Saints Day, and again on Sunday, I’m thinking about my grandmother who entered into life eternal earlier this year, and I will be giving God thanks for her life. I will always remember her sitting at the piano in her home and playing the great hymns of our faith and teaching me the importance of music in our worship. As we go to our Downtown Campus Sunday afternoon for the dedication of our refurbished carillon, I’ll be remembering how she used to play those bells on Sundays after church, and I would go up into the tower with her to watch her play. Occasionally, she would even let me ring one of the big bells! I will remember her this Sunday as we worship together, I will give God thanks, and I know that it will be “a day that I peculiarly love”.
Who is that saint in your life that you will be remembering on Sunday and giving God thanks for?