Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from? -Revelation 7:13
On All Saints Day, Nov 1 - or on All Saints Sunday, which we will celebrate this weekend - we remember the "great cloud of witnesses" that have gone before us. These ancestors in faith cheer us on as we carry Christ's flame during our time on earth. The reading from Revelation paints a picture of a multitude of saints and angels, praising God in heaven, having "already come out of the ordeal." They are worshipping God - and praying for us - an assurance to us that all will be well.
Brother Robert at SSJE recently wrote:
Halloween may come in the guise of cute children dressed up in all manner of costumes, but our pre-Christian and Christian ancestors in the faith would recognize Halloween as that night when you stared at, and stared down, death. But just as we know the answer to Good Friday is not despair but Easter, so the answer to Halloween is not fear but All Saints’ and All Souls’. Each remind us that we can stare death in the face and be triumphant.
Life can be frightening, hurtful, violent or threatening at times - more like Halloween than heaven. But as children of God, we are assured that God's light will never be overcome by any darkness. It is assuring to remember that even on tough days, we have support we cannot even see - a multitude of saints and souls who are praying for us and for all creation.
The goodness and love of God has created a long lineage of compassion and care that shines in the darkness throughout history. On All Saints Sunday we will remember the saints who have brought that light into our lives, and we will also welcome the newest member of the communion of saints as we baptize Margot Chabot, daughter of Steve and Ali Chabot. I hope you can be there with us!