Rev. Dr. Steven Yagerman
October 30, 2019 • All Saints Day
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Dear Friends and Parishioners:
This Friday, November 1st is All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day on Saturday the 2nd. We will transfer our celebration of our Patronal Feast Day to Sunday, November 3rd. All Saints Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the Church. On this day we especially remember the whole mystical body of Christ and the people whom God has loved and who have loved God. On All Souls Day we are called to remember the souls of “All the faithful departed.” According to recent Anglican scholarship, this day should really be understood as a “continuation” of the feast of All Saints Day.
Most of these people, both living and deceased, are people that our recorded history has forgotten, but, who nonetheless, delight in the eternal presence and light of God. Frankly, it is the highest privilege to belong to the category of a common saint. Actually, the only category that really matters is the one that delights in the presence of the divine. Beyond this we concur with St. Paul, who said, “I count everything else as rubbish!” For us, honoring the saints, i.e. the Holy Ones who have gone before, is a way of honoring our own spiritual journeys. We, by our faith, declare that each life is of such eternal worth that no other honor is necessary.
We all tend to miss the spirit of All Saints. We reason, falsely, that our lives don’t really matter. This is the first, primordial lie. From this mistaken premise, all work becomes meaningless, all behavior becomes selfish and all understanding is dulled. The Gospel proclaims that each of us matter absolutely. Your life, your thoughts, your passions, your talents all carry the weight of glory. In God’s Realm, everything we do is done on earth as it is in heaven. This is the lesson of Jesus when he says how much more important we are than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field. This valuing (the real meaning of worship) of God and the honoring of the saints, teaches us the true significance of life.
From the perspective of the Body of Christ, the church, you should know that your presence here matters deeply too. Each week we honor the mystical and the actual union of Christ. Without your committed presence the mission is immeasurably weakened. Your attendance at Church is not just for you, but also witnesses to Christ’s love that is proclaimed for the community.
This All Saints Weekend, I encourage you all to step up to the Gospel! Please consider re-joining your life to the radiant presence of Christ, who understood and proclaimed God’s infinite love for each and every one of us. Each of us is necessary for Christ’s light to shine brightly in this place to which God has called us.