OSE-news, All Saints Year B, 2018
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
On All Saint’s weekend, the Church is unafraid to deal with death. Death is real. And the weekend’s gospel proclaiming the account of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from death is a case in point. The Gospel writer John makes sure we know Lazarus’ body was in a tomb, bound by burial cloth, dead long enough that it was decomposing. But the larger reality was God’s power over death as Jesus shouted his friend’s name, telling him to “come out” of the tomb. Death was not denied, but it was defied!
What a difference this makes. First, death should no longer terrify us since through our baptism into Christ we share in his death-defying life! And life should no longer terrify us either since joined to Christ’s life, death and resurrection means we now have sanctified – that is, made holy and given a purpose – through God’s promise to be with us and for us and to use us and all our gifts to God’s own glory.
By the way, the weekends service was moving. We both remembered and rejoiced as we named both those who have died in the last year as well as those who have been baptized in the last year. We sang, prayed, lit candles, and were challenged to be the living saints of our day with the help of a simple picture of one our youth who stood compassionately with a friend in the face the deadly synagogue shooting last week. If for any reason you missed worship this weekend, find a quiet hour, lite a candle in memory of a saint in your life, remember your own saintly call through baptism, and click here.
Peace be with you, Pastor Mark