Pastor Mark’s November Message
Remembering the Saints
by Sonja G
Pastor Mark’s November Voice Message:
November 5 we celebrate All Saints Sunday. We take time this day to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. During worship we light a candle for each member of the congregation that has died in the past year. We also light a candle for each name that members submit of loved ones they would like remembered. There ends up being a lot of candles. It’s a beautiful image of how that person’s light still burns in the memory of their loved ones. All those candles signify a person that has made an impact on someone’s life. That’s a lot of influence burning brightly on this day. It’s a great reminder for all of us of the many people who have influenced our lives. It’s a reminder of how “it takes a village” to raise up faithful, thoughtful and compassionate disciples. It’s a reminder of the blessing of relationships, and living in community connected to one another.
For me the candles are also an excellent motivator to be a faithful example and positive influence on other people’s life. No, the people we remember weren’t perfect. Who is though? The Apostle Paul said, “All sin and fall short of the glory of God.” We don’t have to be perfect to make an impact on another person’s life. We don’t have to be perfect to be an important part of the community. We just do our best to “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” Sometimes this is done in small ways, and sometimes in large ways. Each faithful, kind, caring and compassionate thing we do is a way of “loving our neighbor,” and making a positive impact on their life.
All Saints Sunday isn’t about recognizing those who were or are perfect. We aren’t saints because of what we have done. We are saints because of what God has done for us in Jesus. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is the Good News that makes us saints. Jesus has conquered sin and death for us. Jesus brings forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. Jesus makes us saints. So, on November 5 we gather to remember the saints who have gone before us, as we continue to gather with the fellow saints of today. “Gathered to Grow…Sent to Serve.”