Grace and Peace to you in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You will not receive this newsletter on November 1st, but that is the current date from which I am writing it. A date that is important to me from two reasons:
1- It is my ordination anniversary. Yes, on this day seven years ago, the Holy Spirit and the Church saw fit to ordain me into the ministry of word and sacrament. It has been a blessing to serve Christ’s church over the years. I give thanks to you, the people of Lutheran Church of the Cross, for calling me to continue in this work, and for supporting and sustaining me as your pastor. I couldn’t do this without you walking alongside me.
2- It is All Saints’ Day, one of my favorite church festivals. (Let’s be honest, I have too many favorites…) And, though you won’t see this newsletter on November 1st, you’ll hopefully see it before we celebrate All Saints’ Sunday on November 7th.
All Saints’ Day began as a commemoration of Christian martyrs as early as the 4th century, and by the early 7th century it had evolved to commemorate all the Saints, martyred or not. Then, around the early 11th century, there was a day set aside to commemorate all the faithful departed, this would go on to be known as All Souls’ Day. All Saints’ Day was typically reserved for the Saints who have been canonized, while All Souls’ was set aside for all the Saints/faithful departed of the church. The Roman Catholic Church still separates the two observances, while most protestant traditions tend to merge them both into All Saints’ Day because our traditions don’t have a canonization process.
Whether it is one day or two, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to sit down and remember the Saints who have impacted your life and your faith. Whether it’s the iconic Saints like Patrick and Francis of Assissi, or it’s the everyday Saints like your Grandmother and your friend who left this side of God’s Kingdom at too early of an age. Remember them, thank God for them, and honor the light of Christ that you saw reflected in them.
And, when you receive the Lord’s Supper, remember that the Body and Blood of Christ still connects you to them, and through this they are never far away from you. Christ is the King that connects the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant, and His Kingdom has no end. And because of this, we can find comfort in knowing that the faithfully departed rest in the promise of the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. Thanks be to God.
Your sibling in Christ,