All Saints’ Day

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith."

Hebrews 12:1-2a (NRSV)

All Saints’ Day — 1st of November

In keeping with our Celtic understanding of Thin Places, historically we, as Christians, hold the belief that the veil between heaven and earth is thinned in certain places and in certain times.  Hallowmas is considered a liturgical thin place, a time when the veil between heaven and earth is more transparent, where God’s presence is more readily experienced and the holy brushes up against us.  On this second day of Hallowmas, All Saints' Day, we celebrate the saints that have gone before us.  We celebrate the holy ones who have showed us the way.

We do not come to know Christ in a vacuum, in isolation.  There are trailblazers and pioneers of the faith. There are people who have run this marathon called life.  We are not in it alone.  We are surrounded by people who coach us all along the way through the witness of their life and faith.

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 

1 Corinthians 11:1

Paul reminds us in his first letter to the church at Corinth to follow his example, as he follows the example of Christ.  So it is with the saints, past and present, in our lives. We follow those who have gone before, as they follow the example of Christ.

Who in your life has embodied the ways of Christ to you?  Who has helped you to see Christ more clearly?  Who has helped you to experience unconditional love, hope, peace, and joy?  Today is the day to celebrate those saints who have gone before, those people in our lives who helped us to come to know Christ and/or helped us to deepen our faith in and walk with Christ.

How can you venerate the saints in your life?  Perhaps you light a candle and then say/write a prayer of gratitude for what they meant to your life.  

Today I celebrate Eleanor Stockstill.  Eleanor was the woman who ran New Demensions (my pre-school and afterschool care when I was a kid).  She was also an active member of my home church that I went to starting in upper elementary.  She was a true woman of God.  

A Prayer for Saint Eleanor

by Charissa Jaeger-Sanders

I am a preschooler

     As I discard the ants from my log and lick the peanut butter out, refusing to eat the celery

     You are there 

     Loving me and accepting me, just as I am


     As I mourn the pile of pollen pods,

          interpreting them as dead caterpillars, 

          lamenting that they will never get to become butterflies

     You give comfort and assurance


     As you sit on the floor with us, 

          reading books, unlocking worlds, taking us hither and yon in the depths of 

          our imagination

          You meet us where we are 

          helping us to journey to become more of who we are called to be

I am now in school

     I encounter you, once again

     This time you are at church

     You greet me with smiles so big that even your eyes light up

     Your hugs convey to me the very arms of a Loving God

     Your voice sings in such a way that I can imagine how the angels sound

     Your encouragement helped to keep me on the path

     Through following after your example, I follow after Christ

I graduate

     There you are championing me, yet again

     Inspiring me to let that foundation of faith carry me through whatever lies ahead

I am a young adult

     You are diagnosed with ALS

      I am heartbroken

     One  of the spiritual giants of my life shows me how to walk through suffering

          with poise, grace, peace, and joy that goes beyond circumstances

The last time I saw you

     We are at a women’s retreat on Saint George Island

     ALS has robbed you of your ability to speak with your voice

     You carry a dry erase board and marker, still offering wisdom and guidance

     Your eyes continue to speak volumes

          In them I see love, joy, gratitude, acceptance and peace

     You are helping serve communion

     You hold the cup of salvation

     Tears stream down my face as I realize this will be one of the last times I see you

     I receive the grace that you offer

     You offer the cup of Christ, where there is healing and wholeness

     Even in your final moments with me 

          You are still embodying what it means to live out the unconditional love of God

          Living as a libation, offering all that you are as a vessel for God


Eleanor, I am ever grateful for you, one of the saints in my life  

     Thank you for showing me how to live and how to love

     As this veil between heaven and earth is more transparent

          I glimpse the sight of those twinkling eyes and feel your loving presence embracing me, once again

Gratitude abounds

     And all I can say is, thank you God, for Eleanor, a saint in my life.


Return to Hallowe'en                                                      Go to All Souls’ Day


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