October 30, 2015
It has been a long time since I fished and swam the waters of Upper St. Croix Lake. From there the Brule River flows to the north and the St. Croix to the south. All the gifts the place held, including the people I shared them with powerfully shaped my childhood. Now when I visit and stand on the shoreline letting my thoughts wonder across the waters I am moved by the memories. Sometimes they are accompanied by tears with the realization of the passage of time and the acknowledgement of loss. The countless faces of that community that shared that time and place with me never seem far away in my remembering.
All Saints Day is a time of remembrance. Within the experience of worship we look to the past and remember the saints who have gone before us and are now at rest in God. In our walk of faith, remembrance is central to naming our identity as children of God. In the life of the church we take the memories and bring them alongside our hope in the risen Lord who makes all things new. It is within a redeeming grace that the past is gathered up and brought into a new day. We come to trust that God, the Alpha & Omega, holds all time in God’s gentle embrace.
All Saints Day teaches us how to live into the present moment, grateful for the witness of the saints who have gone before us and enlivened by the Spirit who goes ahead of us. It is a day when we may feel the emotion of loss and yet know that our tears are met by the God of all consolation.
O Christ the same, through all our story’s pages,
our loves and hopes, our failures and our fears;
eternal Lord, the king of all the ages,
unchanging still amid the passing years. – ELW 760