I grew up in Presbyterian churches with very little observance of the liturgical year. Sure, there was Advent, Christmas, and Easter, but that was about it. As I grew older, I was exposed to the liturgical year in churches I attended. I came to love it. In my harried life, it grounds me. Although I am once again in a church that is not particularly liturgical, I still observe and celebrate the seasons on my own.
Within the liturgical tradition, November 1 marks All Saints Day. Within the Roman Catholic tradition, All Saints Day is a time to honour all the Roman Catholic Saints. Though for Protestant churches this day often looks at the belief that we are all saints.
On all Saints day some Protestant churches remembers those members, or saints, that have died over the past year. For other churches, they encourage members to celebrate the saints in their life. My observation is just that, a day to remember the saints in my life, past and present.
I think about those people who have brought me to this place in my life and those that continue to nurture and support me in my faith. I remember my parents who both lived a life of faith and demonstrated that faithfulness to me in different ways. My Dad served God through his vocation as a minister of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. He served through his mind, studying his scriptures, in both Hebrew and English, daily, and sharing his knowledge with others. My mother, on the other hand, served through her generous spirit and caring nature.
I also remember the many leaders within the church that mentored me as I grew up. I had caring Sunday School teachers, Youth Leaders, and family friends. I loved when a missionary would visit. My family would often host them for a dinner and I heard their amazing stories—likely one of the reasons I still today have a passion for international mission.
Finally, I thank God for my many friends. We are blessed to be surrounded by countless others who love God and are willing to laugh and cry with us, to prayer for our children, and to offer encouraging words or a listening ear.
Today, on this All Saints Day, I encourage you to consider those who have shared their faith with you in the past and those who continue to serve as an example and encouragement to you. Name them, pray for them, and thank God for them. Who are some of your saints?