All Saints Sunday
The first Sunday in November is when we celebrate “All Saints Sunday,” one of my favorite Sundays of the church year. In the Apostle’s Creed we profess belief in the communion of the saints. The term “communion of saints” refers to the whole community of faithful followers of Christ, living and dead, past, present and future.
John Buchanan of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago uses a metaphor for the communion of saints that he believes ought to be told at least once a year. The metaphor originated with Southern Baptist preacher Carlyle Marney, who used the image of a balcony. Marney used to say that your personhood, your personality, is like a house, and it's a fairly elaborate and complex structure. Some are fancy. Some are sophisticated. Some are simple and functional. Some are ostentatious. Some are modest. Each has a number of rooms: a formal parlor for greeting guests, a family room, bedroom, kitchen.
Marney said each of us has in the structure of our persona a basement where the plumbing is located and where the trash is stored. No need to spend your life down there! Everybody has a basement; sometimes we act as if the plumbing and trash bin are all there is to us, Marney observed.
And if you come upstairs and step outside onto the lawn and look up, you will see that the house that is you has a spacious, gracious balcony. There are people in your balcony. Marney was a Southerner, so his balcony was white wrought iron with wicker rocking chairs. There are people in the rocking chairs on your balcony sipping iced tea or bourbon, depending on whether you are a Baptist or Presbyterian, Marney used to say.
The people on your balcony are the strong, positive influences in your life. Your heroes and heroines. Your role models and mentors. Your parents may be up there ... your grandparents. There are some folk up there you never met, but they influenced and helped shape you, and there are some really big names up there: people whose lives inspired you from afar and called deeper faith out of you and courage and stamina and love and discipline. The people on your balcony are your saints. The way to observe All Saints' Day is to walk out onto your lawn, look up, and greet them. Call the roll. Name them. Wave to them. Your saints -- your dear ones -- the great ones and small ones: your mother and father maybe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, your old coach, your piano teacher.
This Sunday we named those saints who lived among us and whom we have said good-bye to this past year. Join us as we wave to the communion of saints gathered in our collective balconies!
Blessings and Love, Rev. Beth
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Whether you are taking a journey or starting out on a new path in life, consider "The Traveler's Psalm" and let it guide your way.
Sunday Worship (Traditional) 10:30am
Sunday Worship (Spanish) 12:00 noon
Weekdays (Morning prayer) 7:00am
Wednesday Night Dinner Programs:
11/7 Alternative Giving for Christmas
11/14 FSC and Polk Museum of Art
11/21 no dinner or program
11/28 Youth Fundraiser-baked goods