The first Sunday of November is set aside as All Saints’ Sunday. On that day, we remember the many saints that have been a part of our lives, but particularly those of our congregation who have died in the past year. Why do this? Do we need another time to say “good-by”?
Perhaps we do; but I think there is more. Early this year, I lost my older sister. A part of the sense of loss is simply a shrinking of the family I have always known. It is a part of the ongoing change of the world and the reality that loss is a part the way the world changes.
But there is another way that loss is felt. As family, we shared many memories. Vacations, family pets, marathon scrabble games during a blizzard, holiday traditions, names of neighbors — they were all a part of the shared memories. But now, there is one less who knows them. I can no longer ask who the name of the Japanese exchange student that was in my
sister’s high school class. A part of my past has been shaved off; I have lost a part of the sense of what makes me who I am by losing a part of my past.
As people of God, we owe a sense of who we are to those who came before us. Our congregation is built on the lives and memories of the people we honor this year. Remembering them is a part of remembering who we are now.
All of this is not to keep our focus in the past, but it is to feel the roots of faith behind us as we live the race set before us. It gives us the confidence to live our part in the present pushing on to the future. This All-Saints’ Sunday, remember our saints; remember our roots; and move on doing our part to build new memories for the future.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Martin H. Horn