As I prepare for worship this Sunday, I’d love to know about the special saints in your life.
• Who are the saints you are remembering this All Saints Day?
• Who has shown you what God’s love looks like?
• How did they best express that love?
Could you take a couple of minutes to share your answers with me now? Here’s a short form you can use to respond.
My home was built in 1923; it's not quite 100 years old. Many of the homes in my neighborhood have reached that 100-year milestone and more. They were built to last at the turn of the century. Do you ever wonder what life was like in this South Minneapolis neighborhood 100 years ago? Families living in the homes we now occupy, doing their best to build a meaningful life, a connected neighborhood, a thriving community.
Now, remember that those same families,100 years ago, were just coming out of a time of quarantine after the 1918 flu pandemic. I don’t know anyone that was alive during that pandemic. But it’s powerful for me to remember that in the very neighborhood I live in now, people were doing exactly what I’m doing, staying home to stay safe, wearing masks, keeping distance, trusting in God’s presence.
This is the power of All Saints Sunday.
We are connected to generations of faithful people who suffered, endured, and continued to trust in God. We are connected to generations of faithful people who found hope, love, and joy even in the midst of uncertainty. We are connected to generations of people who have kept the faith, convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
This Sunday we’ll celebrate the communion of saints. We'll lift up the names of those beloved saints of Lake Nokomis Lutheran who have died in the last year. We’ll give thanks for their love in our lives, their witness of faith, for their contributions to this community. We’ll trust that they are now a part of the great ‘cloud of witnesses’ that surrounds us as we continue to live in faith. We’ll remember that God is the God of all generations and as these beloved saints passed on their faith and love to us, we now use our lives to share that same love and faith with the generations who will come after us.
This Sunday is also the beginning of our fall Stewardship Series, “How Will You Measure Your Life?” Be sure to join us as we reflect on what really matters. Here’s your spoiler: Love matters more than winning, generosity matters more than status, relationships matter more than wealth, and gratitude matters more than accumulation. I look forward to reflecting on what a life well-lived looks like with you, and giving thanks to God for guiding us toward the things in life that really matter.