One of our prayers that are part of the funeral or memorial service begins; “As the generations rise and fall”. It truly does seem as though the greatest generation is finishing their earthly journey and entering their eternal rest. So many of our “mature” members are dying. This All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6th, we will give thanks to God for their witness and our memories of them.
The thing about All Saints is that it is not only about those that have died. Those that are living are also “saints”. Martin Luther famously said that we are “simultaneously Saint and Sinner”. A saint is merely a forgiven sinner. In this way we are both.
Our faith journey seems to be a process. It is called “sanctification”. The process of being made holy. I know, it feels a bit uncomfortable to call ourselves holy, just like calling ourselves saints. Yet, this is how God sees us. God sees us as forgiven sinners, on the path to holiness. One of my favorite hymns this time of year is a newer song entitled “ Find us Faithful”. It is not only about if those that have died will find us faithful but if those that are still with us do as well.
So, my sainted friends, in honor of All Saints:
We’re pilgrims on the journey
of the narrow road,
and those who’ve gone before us
line the way.
cheering on the faithful,
encouraging the weary,
their lives a stirring testament
to god’s sustaining grace.
Surrounded by so great
a cloud of witnesses,
let us run the race
not only for the prize,
but as those who’ve gone before us.
let us leave to those behind us,
the heritage of faithfulness
passed on thru godly lives.