Bishop Ward discusses All Saints Day in the life of the church.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns with all the saints in light.
This week, on November 1, we mark All Saints Day in the life of the church. It’s a day when we remember the community of those who love God on earth and who serve Christ, and for the great company of those who have loved God and served Christ and who now, are in heaven, in the fullest light and in complete peace.
We give thanks for this day because it reminds us of our calling to live gratefully toward God. I read recently of an article that appeared in a Boston newspaper. It was the interview with a man who had a very remarkable name – Shakespeare Christmas. It’s a grand name. His life, however, over the past 35 years, had been anything but grand. He served as a janitor, working day by day in dormitories at Harvard University. He had immigrated to this country from Dominica in the Caribbean; he had lived frugally; he had lived obscurely and yet, he had helped all of his children to go to college and now that they were all graduated, he was ready to retire.
In the interview, his concluding remark was simply this, “I’m not a lucky man, but I am blessed.”
When I read his witness, my heart was warmed with gratitude for the way that God helps each of us in our life journey, to move through the circumstances which present themselves, always, always, anticipating the presence, the surrounding grace of God.
Christine Pohl, in her work on hospitality and gratitude, reminds us that gratitude and grace come from the same root word and that gratitude is a proper response to God’s grace.
The scriptures remind us to give thanks to God in everything. May we, on this All Saints Day, remember again the great grace of God that overwashes our lives and embrace anew a posture of gratitude. Thanks be to God this day for each of you and for the life we share together.