Today is All Saints’ Day. It is a day when Christians around the world remember and give thanksgiving for those who have died. In many churches I have served the names of all that had died since the previous All Saints’ Day were read aloud during the worship service on that day or, if no worship service was scheduled, on the following Sunday.
When I was younger I participated dutifully and prayerfully. Today, my participation is more filled with the personal memories and the present pain of loss.
As I walked beside the sea earlier today, at low tide, I felt the gentle touch of the wind, the sweet smell of the salty ocean carried gently by the breeze, and listened to the lapping sound of the surf. I looked out over the water, blue today, against a blue sky, and named in my imagination those who I have loved and who are no longer here. I will remember them tonight at worship, also.
May we remember in our hearts and imaginations those we love who are no longer here. Gracious and merciful God, thank you for all whose lives have connected with ours, and who are no longer here. Thank you also for this moment, and for those who are still here; for the mystery of love, for the joy of connection, and for hope.