How are you celebrating? Gerd Altmann @pixabay.com
I’ve been so inspired by the Ken Burns documentary “Country Music” that I’ve been humming that old Willie Nelson classic, “On the Road Again.” And…I’ve decided to take Willie’s advice and head down to San Francisco. While I’m at it, I hope you’re making plans for All Saints Sunday, which my friends, is right around the corner.
“For all the saints, who from their labors rest…” and, if I don’t have the words in front of me, I sort mumble something unintelligible until the really good part – “Thy name O Jesus (shout it out now!) be forever blessed, A-ha-lleuia, A-ha-ha-leluia.” Awesome! Thank you, William W. How for writing that Top Ten hit in 1864. Brother, you rock.
For a number of you, in a few weeks, it will be the day you sing that beloved hymn. Yes, it’s All Saints Day, one of my favorite days in the church year. This is the chance to remember people who have passed on to glory during the previous year and to recall all the saints who poured their time, talent, and treasure into the place you call your spiritual home.
It reminds us that no one is forgotten and that everyone is important.
Who are the saints in your life? Who needs to be remembered on this very hallowed Sunday? How will the recognition of a life well-lived inspire others to live the life that Christ has called us to experience? How can we ever show how grateful we are for the saints?
If you want a real four-minute treat, here’s that famous hymn sung by 5,000 people in the Royal Albert Hall. How tears aren’t streaming down everyone’s faces, I’ll never know. I need some Kleenex.
So sing “For All the Saints” with gusto – even if you have a teeny tiny congregation and even if you voice isn’t all that good. Give thanks and praise that we are "surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” that have provided us with countless examples of how to live a faithful life. That is surely something to celebrate.
Originally published October 29, 2014