Each year on the Church’s Calendar, we are invited to celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1. It is a day, which invites us to give thanks for the saints who have gone before us into the nearer presence of God. It is difficult to speak of loss and grief; but it is also healing and hopeful, for we remember the love of God, which holds us and never lets us go.
We also give thanks for the goodness of the lives of the saints. We have shared the journey of faith with them, so their lives have shaped our lives. We remember and offer our thanksgiving for the grace of God, which we have found in sharing this journey with them.
On All Saints’ Day in worship, we read the names of church members we have lost in the previous twelve months. We light a candle to give thanks for them, remembering the light they shared with us, as it reflected the light of Christ. Even though we are not gathering together in person for worship, the family members of those we will remember, who are members of the church, will be invited to sit in the sanctuary to hear the name of their loved one called out. It is less than ten people, and we will wear masks and practice social distancing.
In the midst of a pandemic, where so many people have experienced loss on many levels, we remember the love of God, which comes to us wherever we are. One way the love of God comes to us is through the gift of community. We have cultivated community in different ways this year. All Saints’ Day is an opportunity for us to offer support and to provide prayers for everyone who is grieving.
The hope of worship and the gift of community tell us we are not alone! We all grieve and need the support of others. In our grief and heartache, we can share in God’s love by standing in solidarity with one another. We can offer a word of encouragement, write a note of kindness, or drop off a meal of grace.
We give thanks for the saints of Auburn First Baptist, for how they have shaped our lives, and for the gift of community, which continues to carry us forward.