Today is All Soul’s Day and according to the Anglican Communion, “is a twin feast of All Saints’s Day. It has been observed in the Eastern Church from very early times and was introduced into Western Europe in the tenth century. The sixteenth-century English Reformers cut this festival out of the church year because they did not like to distinguish between “all saints” and “all souls.” The New Testament makes no such distinction but, rather, refers to all Christians as saints, stressing the fact that salvation is a gift from God and that none of us earns a special place in his kingdom by our good deeds. This is a good time to remember the unspectacular children of God: those whose Christian witness may have been weak or faltering, but who are still very dear and important to God and to us.”
In complete honesty, I knew nothing of this feast day until maybe two years ago, but have found it quite fascinating.
Despite, or maybe because of the hurricane, I’ve found it floating in and out of my thoughts since I climbed out of bed this morning. With the death toll rising, this year’s All Soul’s Day is sadly timely.
Today’s devotional at Forward Day by Day is fitting:
When we spend too much time worrying, Jesus reminds us, we make ourselves bigger than we are and succumb to the illusion that we can control much of anything. We can lie awake at night wondering what tomorrow will bring, and watch our hair turn gray and bags form under our eyes, or we can rest in the knowledge that our hearts are out of our hands.
As the storm proves, we cannot control everything. In fact, we can’t control a whole lot. We think we can, especially we Northeasterners. But along comes a storm and our lives, along with the trees, are standing on end.
Here is where faith enters. It is faith that sustains us, giving us strength as we pick up the mess. Faith pushes us on, reminding us of those souls who have gone on before. Today, I stop to remember them and their witness. Imperfect, but by faith, used by God. They surround us, along with so many others, those without “saint” in front of their names and a day put aside on the Liturgical Calendar.
May they rest in peace as we run with perseverance.