RCL C All Saints
Daniel 7:1-3 and 15-18, Psalm 149, Ephesians 1:11-23, Saint Luke 6:20-31

Last year, you may recall, All Saints Day, November 1, fell on a Sunday, and even though All Saints Day takes precedence of a Sunday, we had from Church Publishing only the ordinary Sunday inserts. The difficulty was discovered too late to do anything worthwhile about it, and I vowed to make the correction this year and to take the opportunity given by the Prayer Book to observe All Saints on the Sunday after November 1.

So here we are. It’s important for us as Christians and as Episcopalians to remember all the saints, those whose memory may be forgotten by the passage of time or the quirk of the calendar or the celebration of the Eucharist only on Sundays.

We remember them, because their lives and their sacrifices show us the fullness of God. God’s image, planted in each of us, guiding and directing each of us, knows no limit. That image shows itself in as many ways as there are, and there can be, people. We celebrate the fullness and variety of God by remembering the fullness and the variety of people devoted to God. The Communion of Saints is, after all, all the saints, not one being forgotten. We remember them all by remembering the group that contains all of them.

But there’s yet another reason to keep the feast of All Saints, and that reason transcends remembering and reaches unto prayer. By remembering them, we ask God to bring us to “those ineffable joys” that belong to the saints who’ve given themselves to God in “all virtuous and godly living.”[1] We ask this in the surety of God’s love for us and for the mercy promised to those who truly love him.

And, finally, we remember, we pray, and we ask that we be among all of them, united with God and those who love him. We ask this because we know that here, on this bank and shoal of time, we’re not there yet though we know that on their bank and shoal of time, where God and all the saints are, is where our true home is. Ours, as Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount, today’s Gospel, “is the kingdom of God.”[2] With all the saints, we desire what God promises, and that is our truest identity, united with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and all the holy people of God.

[1] BCP, page 245.

[2] Saint Luke 6:20.

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