"Love Toward the Saints"

Yesterday was All Saints Day. Sunday is All Saints Sunday. Reminiscent of Holy Saturday (the day between Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday and his victory over the grave on Easter), today we’re in between. 

Of course, we’re always in between, especially those in the midst of grief. We’re in between the joys and difficulties of lives shared, the sadness of lives ended, and the hope of the life to come. 

On Sunday, when we read the 32 names of those from Central who died in the faith this past year, our emotions will be in between or, more accurately, all over the place. We remember these lives lived among us and are grateful for what they contributed, even as we grieve that their contributions now come through those they influenced and the gifts they left behind, rather than directly from them. We are relieved that the saints suffer no longer, but suffer our own sorrow in their absence. We think of things they did, said, caused and how those affected our lives, which can make us laugh through our tears and cause us to roll our eyes, even when we have eyes that admire. We, as Sunday’s epistle (Ephesians 1:15-23) puts it, have “love toward the saints,” in part because they have shown us something of what it means to love God and neighbor, as in the teaching from Sunday’s gospel lesson (Mark 12:28-34).

I hope you’ll be in worship Sunday to remember those we’ve loved and lost and to support those whose griefs are especially heavy this year. In our time of remembering and thanksgiving, may we be inspired to love God and neighbor more fully.