We will celebrate All Saints Day Sunday with the traditional singing of “For All the Saints,” but the theme of the service this year will be less about past saints and more about future ones. Right now we need more people to walk the path of those we recognize as models of Christ-like love, as citizens of the realm of God’s mercy, justice and peace, but we need them to walk that ancient path in new ways in response to this unprecedented time in history.
We will be reflecting on what we need the church to become in order to nurture, train and equip saints to meet today’s urgent needs, and in order to comfort us in a discomforting world. The same Spirit that guided and empowered past saints will guide and empower the church we will create, and their gifts and sacrifices will encourage and inspire ours.
We can feel tremendous hope if we look at our situation today through the lens of what the saints of the past have been and done. The scriptures and hymns will reflect that positivity. We will read together from Psalm 32 and hear Jesus teach nonviolence, unconditional love and the Golden Rule in Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain” (a slightly different version of Matthew’s better known “Sermon on the Mount”), Luke 6:20-31. Besides “For All the Saints” we will sing “These Things Shall Be” and “We Would Be Building,” both set to beloved and emotionally powerful hymn tunes.
Our children and youth will continue to explore with Joey and Danette what it means to be a good neighbor and to love our neighbor as our self. This unit began with Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan and has been looking at how it applies to our lives, including the cell phone skit and song during the Lords Acre showlet. Last week they looked at Mother Theresa as a model, this week they will look at the story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis and at Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his role in fostering forgiveness.
Here are some of the saints of this congregation, past, present and future!