By this reading we will have remembered the saints at our All Saints Service November 3.
I am always moved by this service as a way of placing my life in the frame of those whose faithfulness gave me what I have and those I hope will know a faithful witness to the grace of God in Jesus Christ in me. I thank those parishioners who gracefully tolerated my less than stellar sermons, those who served alongside projects great and small, colleagues who steered me in the right direction, even those who tested me and taught me patience! I remember those of my family, now of blessed memory, who showed me how to live and die. I am thankful to know that someday I will see them again in that house not made with hands but eternal in the heavens. I am thankful that the knowledge of that day can help me face the challenges of our times without shrinking from the work that must be taken on for the life of the world.
Someone said, “The world must be fought for, celebrated, and sung. Love must imagine the world.” It is through love we imagine the world into being. Through love we fight for life, and in love celebrate being itself. All else is nothing. That is what Paul means when he says, “Faith, hope, Love, abide these three, but the greatest of these is love.” It is our love that outlasts us, our love is our legacy. In the end, as Christians, it is all that is required of us – to love because God first loved us. Love gives because we have been given to. Love sacrifices for others as any parent knows. Love sees need and responds because it cannot help itself. Love breaks barriers and mends divisions, calls for truth and resists evil because love cannot be less than it is-which is God as John says.
When we think of our work as church, our work is to love. I know you know that because you are about loving in so many ways. I wonder does the world know that is who we are? As we go about being the church of Jesus in this place, my prayer is that the community we serve may come to see that all the good we do is an act of love. I hope all will come to know that love in Jesus Christ that calls us to care and to proclaim love risen in power in Jesus to bring us abundant life. If people only know that they will know saving love – which is salvation. It is for us to invite others to be enlisted in the fight for the life of the world so that together in love we may imagine the world. We used to call this evangelism. I call it telling it like it is:
God is love.
Thankful for love we know in our lives through Jesus Christ,
Pastor Linda Farmer-Lewis