With a full church and the hearts and minds turned to this important feast day in our Episcopal Church, we celebrated with joy the presence of God’s compassion toward God’s people throughout all the ages. There were many poignant moments, when the presence of that loving God broke through into our reality, with our singing, our preaching, our engagement with the Holy Eucharist, and in the healing prayers. But, for me, one of the most moving and clear statements from God was the brilliance of the light shining through the window behind the altar. The image is often stunning but this day, it was glorious! It seemed like a message from God to be God’s light in the world right now, lean into love, do not allow the powers of darkness in our world to truncate the powers of the resurrection of Jesus, take our time at being the saints of the world, for the world desperately needs us.
During our service, we read over 300 names of people deeply connected to us but whose earthly life has ended. It was a good reminder that for just as death does not separate us from being in relationship with one another, the life offered us today, in our scripture and in our Eucharist, challenges us to be in relationship with all others, people near to us and those far away. Just as we know the blessing of those who are gone from this life but who breathe, one breath at a time, with us still, we are challenged by God to become a blessing to all others, so that there may be new life for us all. In this threshold time, we reach back into the goodness of the lives gone before us—and we lean into that love and we pay it forward, in our own lives, in our own time, so that we and others can move from death into life, here and now.