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All Saints' Day

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This coming Sunday we celebrate All Saints’ Day.  Actually, it is the reason we have Halloween in the first place.  The night before All Saints (Nov. 1) is called All Hallows Eve (Oct. 31).  All Saints is our remembrance of all those who died in the Christian Faith.  Not just the celebrated figures and spiritual giants, but all saints. 

Every week we confess in the creed that we believe in the communion of saints.  This means that we believe that we are connected with all other believers.  Time and space do not hinder this.  The body of Christ is one in all time and in all places.  Although we still experience division in this imperfect world, the invisible truth is that we are one. 

You are connected to Inuit villagers in the far northern reaches of Canada who worship in a tiny chapel.  You are connected to secret believers in Tehran or Riyadh.  We are connected to the brave Korean pastors doing Gospel work among North Korean refugees in China.  We are connected to the Nsenga believers of Zambia who received the New Testament in their own language for the first time just last year.  We are connected to the few who remain in the great Cathedrals of Europe and the many who fill the churches of Africa. 

We do not know them by name.  We would not recognize these people on the subway as our brothers and sisters.  But when God looks at all of us he sees us all as his children.  And through his eyes we are never alone.  We are part of one great family stretching across the entire earth.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

 

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