Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All Saints'-tide

I like the days between November 1st and the first Sunday in Advent.  I have given them my own title, All Saints'-tide.  If I could I would convert to white for our liturgical color for these days or even better go to some other combination of colors that would evoke apocalypse, demons, battles, choirs, etc.

The lessons on the Sundays during this period hint in the direction of challenge and trouble: 
". . . after that the judgment," ". . . until the day that the LORD sends rain on the earth," ". . . The LORD will judge the ends of the earth," ". . . he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified," ". . . not one stone will be left here upon another," ". . . My kingdom is not from this world,"
Maybe it is the light shed from the last of the Sundays in my mini-season that makes things stand out for me as they do.  Christ is the King, the Victor with arms outstretched,  crowned and in royal array. To get to that moment some change has got to come.

Not all of this transition is by way of turmoil and trouble.  Some of it is just the way the world happens.  Autumn is a season if not THE season of change.  But change it is that comes.

And this year November 1st is a Sunday.  So we will have a special start to these days in how we worship and name our part in the changing.

Already we are asking you to add to our list of saints; any and all of those who have gone before us in the faith and are now as a "white robed army" are praying and singing with us.

Saints are not just those who have been martyred or brought to fame by their living faithfully, think St. Alban or Mother Theresa.  When Paul writes to the Christians in Ephesus he calls them saints. Both times he writes to the the church in Corinth he calls them saints and the second letter is largely to chastise them because they haven't followed his previous instructions.

So we -- being careful to proceed in humility and with great caution -- can call ourselves saints, too. Especially as we recognize the challenges our world presents us and as we strive to honor and to follow the one who died for us and now reigns as our king.

So let us also use this rare moment -- Sunday, November 1 is actually All Saints' Day -- to acknowledge the living saints as well.  Let's use this moment to identify the work we are already doing and the work we hope to do together.

Two other days will also be opportunities to adopt our roles as living saints.  On the Wednesday before All Saints' Sunday we are inviting our Advent-ures group to try out their costumes and to learn about how to become a living saint.  See the detailed information later in this newsletter.

On the Wednesday following All Saints' Sunday we will share a meal and celebrate the culmination of this year's pledge campaign.  There will be more information to follow.

Either way let us adopt with each other the sainthood that is striving to live faithfully in a world that will one day no longer be as it is but will shine bright in the light of Christ as King.

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