Weekly Lectionary takes a look (sometimes brief, sometimes longer, sometimes odd) at one of the lectionary passages for the upcoming Sunday. This week is All Saints Day and the gospel passage is John 11:32-44.
Today is All Saints Day: a day in which the church remembers those who have gone before us. I wrote a sermon for this Sunday which appears on the NextSunday Worship. You can read that here. But I do want to repost here a quote from Nadia Bolz-Weber's excellent new book Accidental Saints:
Apart from those who have fallen in combat, Americans tend to forget our ancestors, and we spend as little time as possible publicly mourning them. But in the church, we do the very odd thing of proclaiming that the dead are still a part of us, a part of our lives, and are even an animating presence in the church. Saint Paul describes the saints as a “great cloud of witnesses,’ so when they have passed, we still hold them up, hoping perhaps that their virtues—their ability to have faith in God in the face of an oppressive empire or a failing crop or the blight of cancer—might become our virtue, our own strength. (Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints, 5)
In the sermon, I continue to reflect on just a few of the lives--Thomas the Apostle, C.S. Lewis, my grandfather Richmond, and great-greatmother Ruth--that have served as an animating presence in my own. As you observe All Saints Day, I encourage you to remember the women and men of the past who have done the same for you.