In an All Saints’ Day journal entry dated Monday, November 1, 1756, John Wesley writes, “How superstitious are they who scruple giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints.” Maybe your 18th century English is pretty good, but mine is not, so I needed to google the meaning of the word “scruple.” I discovered it means “to be unwilling to do something because you think it is improper, morally wrong….”
All Saints Day is an opportunity to give thanks for all those in the faith who have gone before us. From the early days of Christianity, there is a sense that the Church consists of not only all living believers, but also all who have gone before us. For example, in Hebrews 12 the author inspires Christians to remember that a “great cloud of witnesses” surrounds us, encourages us, and cheers us on.
On All Saints Day we remember all those—famous or obscure—who are part of the “communion of saints” we confess whenever we recite The Apostles’ Creed.
We celebrate and remember Paul, Augustine, Martin Luther, and John and Charles Wesley.
Alongside the likes of Paul from the New Testament, Augustine, Martin Luther, John and Charles Wesley, we tell stories of the grandmother who took us to church every Sunday. We remember the pastor who prayed with us in the hospital, and the neighbor who cared for us when we experienced a loss. We give thanks for the youth leader who told us Jesus loved us, the kindergarten Sunday school teacher who showered us with that love, and the woman in the church who bought us groceries when we were out of work. On All Saints Day, we celebrate and remember those who showed us the love of Jesus in a very real way. We remember and celebrate those men and women who shined like stars so that we might taste the grace and peace of Jesus in our lives! This All Saints Day we remember…
Marion “Harold” Adams, Ronnie Arnold, Brad Coleman, Michael Collier, Don Merle Cooper, Baby Cunningham, Judy Engelstad, Jackie Erskine, Shelby Field, Kenneth (Ken) Hansen, Darron James Hanson, Joan Hill, Dee McElroy, Judy Murrah, Anna L. Murr, Leo David (Dave) Neinast, Jr., Walter Hutson Olds, James Fair Pirtle, Gordon Harry Smart, Jr., Rev. Lon A Speer, Baby Benjamin Edward Ward.