“Inspire Courage: All Saints” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

October 29th,2020 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

Blessings to you this week as we celebrate and remember those who have gone before us during Día de los Muertos and All Saints Day. This Sunday we will remember the loved ones we have lost but continue to carry with us. So, we invite you to bring something that reminds you of your loved one to worship with during the 11am service. A reminder for Elders and Deacons that there is a meeting after worship, this Sunday. Please be in touch with Rev. Richard or Janet Martin if you have any questions. This coming week will surely be one to remember. I hope you all vote, find time to reflect on all that is happening, and also take a moment to rest. I am praying for you all.

This week we are in my favorite book of the bible, Revelation. I talk about this book like the SNL character Stefon talks about New York City. This book has everything, strong women, dreams, fire, animals with six wings, a call for justice, a call to end imperial rule, dragons, everyone, and of course Jesus. It’s a book that has a lot going on. But one of my favorite things about it is its reminder that we will all come together again in this life or the next. In a year wrought with loss, I found this reminder comforting. I am not one who loves to sit in my grief, but when it’s presented as a way to commune together again, I find myself wanting to sit with it much longer than I normally do. How about you? See if you find comfort for this All Saints Sunday, in the words found in the book of Revelation.

“From the tribe of Simeon, 12,000; from the tribe of Levi, 12,000; from the tribe of Issachar, 12,000; from the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000; from the tribe of Joseph, 12,000; and from the tribe of Benjamin, 12,000.

After that, I saw before me an immense crowd without number, from every nation, tribe, people and language. They stood in front of the throne and the Lamb, dressed in long white robes and holding palm branches. And they cried out in a loud voice,

“Salvation is of our God,
who sits on the throne,
and of the Lamb!”

All the angels who were encircling the throne, as well as the elders and the four living creatures, prostrated themselves before the throne. They worshiped God with these words: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen!” (Revelation 7:7-12)

What a gift this passage is for those of us who have lost someone we loved. This passage reminds us that we are connected to each other in this life and the next through Jesus Christ our Lord, and that we will gather together again in the kindom. I wear a ring every day that my Ema gave me before she passed. I wear it every day and only take it off to bake. It reminds me of all that she taught me, gave me, how fiercely she loved me, and how much I miss her. I remember her laugh and her hugs, her perfume and her jokes. And I can recall them all in theory, but this scripture helps me remember that one day again, I will get to experience them firsthand. That I will get to tell her stories of my adult life and reminisce about the past. And all of that is thanks to the love and grace of God.

Friends, who do you carry with you? Who informed who you are and inspires who you will become? Let’s remember them together this Sunday during our All Saints worship. I give thanks for all our Saints- past, present, and future.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: O Lord, may I take in and make use of the wisdom of those gone before me. Amen