Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All Saints' Sunday

Last Sunday Nov. 1 just happened to be All Saints' Day. All Saints' Day is always the day after All Hallow's Eve (Halloween). Some say that Halloween had it's origins in Celtic pagan practice. The Celts believed that at this time of the year, the end of summer, that the spirits, both good and bad were allowed to roam the earth. The good spirits were welcomed; the bad spirits, warded off. They believed that at this time of year the border between this life and the next grew thin.

As with other secular holidays, the church baptized it and made it a Christian holiday called All Saints' Day or All Soul's Day. We, in the United Methodist Church do not worship the saints, but we do admire them. On All Saints' Day, last sunday, we named the honored dead, those who had "died in the Lord..." Scripture assures us that living or dead we still belong to God.

We had twenty honored dead. Looking over the list you might wonder about the sainthood. All of them were human beings living their lives in the service of God in Christ through the church.

Several years ago, a country singer sang about his wife who put up with anything from him. He sang: "She's a saint, even thought I know I ain't".

To be a Saint in Biblical understanding is to be someone who reflects the glory of God in all of life. A little boy noticed the stained-glass windows in church and that there were people, images, in them. These are some of the Saints, he was told. The boy said: "I can see the sunlight through them..."

That's it. It's not that any of us are perfect, far from it. On any given day, our thoughts and actions...well, you know, don't you.

But, as we seek to live out God's gracious claim on our lives through Christ, we pray that someone might see the light of God through us. Do they? Wherever you are, say a prayer that God will reveal himself not only to you, but to all you meet.

See you in Church!
Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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