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Every year I have mixed feelings as we approach All Saints’ Day. While I am thankful for the opportunity to be in worship and fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ as we remember and celebrate those who have gone before us, I am also sad when I think of the friends and family members whom I love but see no longer.
I suppose this is natural. In my selfish human heart, I would rather my loved ones were here with me, even though I know that they have entered into a joy that I can only imagine.
This is why, although it can be painful, remembering the dead in this special way is important. The All Saints’ Day service gives us the opportunity to remember and rejoice in the fact that we are still in relationship with those who have gone before us. It also reminds us of our joyful expectation of eternal life with them and with Jesus. We can praise God for his saints and pray that we will also come to share in his heavenly kingdom.
As we remember all of his saints with love and thanksgiving, we will also give thanks to God that because of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we can celebrate life even while we are under the shadow of death. For Jesus rose from the dead and this gives us the comfort and hope of eternal life.
As St. Paul said, God has given us victory over sin, guilt, and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Grant, O Lord, to all who are bereaved the spirit of faith and courage, that we may have strength to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience; not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of your great goodness, and in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those we love. All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
The Rev. Carol BrooksSupport Groups & Crisis Care
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