I’m Thankful for the Saints, Pt. 1

Grace Challenge Day 14

Dan Flores shares this with us…

November 1st is a significant day on the liturgical calendar for congregations of the High Church and the Catholic Church.

Known as All Saints Day, it’s a time for reflection and prayer, commemorating the death of faithful Christians who have preceded us. The Catholic Church uses this time to venerate and pray to canonized saints. While we do not join them in these practices, remembering the dead remains an important observance for the living. A saint is literally a ‘holy one’ or even ‘godly one.’ The scripture uses this title for all who trust and obey in the Lord. Therefore, both the dead and the living can be called saints. How is it beneficial for living saints to remember the dead ones?

First, it is beneficial because the dead can continue to live with us. Now don’t misunderstand this statement. Dead saints are with Christ now, not with us. The pain of death is its finality and our inability for relationship with the deceased. However, our memories are something real and exist as part of normative human life. The dead exist in the memory of the living. When we bring to mind their holy qualities, they have a sense of eternality that transcends death. They continue to live in the ways they were most like God.

Second, remembrance has the potential to make us holy and to create strong legacies and meaningful traditions. We want to emulate their holy qualities. Martin Luther was a brave saint with uncompromised conviction. These are attributes I want to duplicate in my life. If I can transfer to my sons certain God-fearing qualities I’ve learned from other faithful Christians, then the family name they carry will have a transcendent, unmovable reputation long after I’m gone.

Third, memories bring comfort from grief. Memories, unlike physical possessions, have the potential to remain with us forever. They have power over our will and emotion. If we feel the grief of losing a loved one, our memory is the ultimate therapist that brings healing. At any moment, in an instant we can recall our loved one and as we remember, grief is replaced with gratitude.

Finally, we are given hope in remembering dead saints. They are a message to us that we will join them one day. Death is universal. Death is frightening. But it inevitability prompts us to trust Jesus Christ who defeated death. We hold fast to the hope of resurrection.

Today I’m remembering the saints from our church we’ve lost in the recent past. While it is precious in the sight of the Lord when His godly ones die, I’m missing and thanking God for my memories of:

Bob & Betty Piester: For their benevolence that helped hundreds of people including me.
Squeak Valenzuela: For his meekness and example of faithfulness.
Jim Lotze: For his Christ-like care for a wife and family.
Bonnie Smith: Who was a light in this world, leading many to Christ.
Virginia Pinnell: For her sincere prayers for all of us.
Manuel Villalovos: For his service to our country, our community, and our church.
Mary Gramkcow: For her intimate, longing for our Savior Jesus Christ.
Mildred Luke: For her concern and care for all of God’s creatures.
Sue Partlow: For her fiery spirit coupled with a love for others.
Vicky Casados: For her unforgettable Christ-like radiance and unswerving hope in the midst of trouble.
Jeremy VanLiew: That so many called him brother, he wasn’t distracted by evils but fought them with creativity and
friendship.

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