Sisters and Brothers,
I greet you in the name of our triune God.
We are at the first day of November! It is All Saints Day when we commemorate the Church triumphant in heaven. Yes, there are countless saints who have gone home to glory and for them, we give thanks.
For all the saints who from their labours rest
Thy name, O Jesu, be forever blest. Alleluia!
Yes. We give thanks for those who have been canonised or beatified and for the many whose names have not been recorded on earth even though they are numbered among the countless redeemed ones whom John referred to in his record of the Revelation.
The earliest saints to be canonised by the church were all martyrs, people who literally gave up their lives in defence of the faith that has been handed on to us. But many since then have also given their lives as Paul requests us to in Romans 12 [present your bodies a living sacrifice wholly and acceptable to God]. Or to use the hymnic phrases of Frances Ridley Havergal, they lived the prayer, “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to Thee.”
As Christians, we believe in the Resurrection of the dead, and we are thankful for those who have died in the Lord, confident that death is not the end of those who trust in God. But we are also mindful that Jesus is both the Resurrection and the Life. While we are yet alive and remain on earth, we are called to live saintly lives. So, let us be Saints Alive while we live this mortal life on earth, until we are translated to the glory of heaven when we shall be forever.
To be saints, those living and dying for the Lord, we are called to lives of obedience to God. As individuals, we are to make choices that enable us in following Jesus every day. But it is not all about individuality. In fact, the individuals who make up the church, must live in community, as a community.
Observing Christian Festivals is one way we share the life if community as together we recall God’s saving actions on behalf of humankind. Also in November, we observe the Feast of Christ the King at the end of the liturgical year. We hail Jesus as our common Lord.
There is another observance, an MCCA tradition that we keep. The third Lord’s Day of November is MCCA Youth & Young Adults Lord’s Day. Let us show support for our youth whom we must influence positively for God’s sake.
November also includes our Harvest Celebrations as well- opportunity for giving plenty thanks to this bounteous God of ours. Yes, God blesses us abundantly. Let us then be generous in giving glory to God, daily offering up ourselves for God’s service, reaching others for the Lord as we participate in Operation Andrew. This is not nearly as demanding as it was for the martyrs, the ones whom the Church first recognised as saints.
Yes, I appeal to us to be Saints Alive living to the glory of God.
In our life, Lord, be glorified. Amen.
Joan Delsol Meade