All Saints

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November 1st is All Saints Day when we remember those who have died while following Jesus.  We remember not only great heroes of the faith, but also, the quiet everyday heroes of the faith who have been part of our own lives. People who taught us about the love of God.  People who explained to us what they knew about God with their words.  People who lived what they believed with their actions. People who told us and showed us what a life following Jesus looks like in their own imperfect, yet faithful ways.

It has become a tradition to light candles on All Saints for those who have died. We see the lights, and we remember the testimony of faith in God they lived.  The light of the candles helps us remember that though they have died, their light will never go out.  The impact of their lives goes on. Death will not triumph in the end.

The gospel story for All Saints this year tells of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus arrives after his friend has died.  Mary, Lazarus’ sister, tells Jesus that if he had been there, Lazarus would not have died.  The passage twice tells us that Jesus was “greatly disturbed” and that he wept.  They make their way to the tomb where Jesus calls out to Lazarus, who then emerges from the grave.

It seems right that for All Saints we have a story where Jesus not only raises Lazarus from death, but also joins in the grief of the family and neighbors.  That is just what God does when we grieve a death or loss in our lives.  It seems right that we hear Jesus is “greatly disturbed” and weeps with them over Lazarus’ death.  That is just how God is affected by the troubles and loss in our lives. Though Jesus will soon return Lazarus to life, we see that Jesus is affected by the loss. Even when God transforms our sorrow, God has compassion for us in our grief.

May the lives of everyday Saints continue to bring light to our lives.

May the memories we hold of those who are dear to us bring us comfort.

May their example of love, forgiveness and compassion move us to follow Jesus.

May God’s presence and care ease our sorrow.

May God’s promises of new life bring us hope.

Peace,

Alicia

Weekly PrayerLazarus’ story from John 11

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