Monday, October 27, 2008

Observing All Saints' Day

Is there a more wonderful day, theologically speaking, than All Saints' Day? It is the day where we focus precisely upon the fact that all that Christ has done has been applied to us, applied to our loved ones who have died in the faith. All Saints' day is Application of the Cross and Easter day.

We get this in the Gospel lesson - the Beatitudes. Blessed, blessed, blessed. Yes - it describes Christ - He is poor in Spirit, He is the peacemaker - but it describes us too, it describes what God does to us in our lives - it describes what God makes us into in order that we might labor in this world, until we need labor no longer. In life, in death - we are what God makes us to be. What a fantastic comfort!

And yet. . . it's a day a lot of folks end up not liking. We remember people who have died. We move to the end of the Church year and start talking about the end times. . . and isn't that a scary thing? I don't know - we've been freaked out about the end for too long - freaked out by Rome with tales of purgatory after death - freaked out by evangelicals by being left behind (which is, let's face it, purgatory on earth). American culture, even the culture of "Christianity" in America teaches us to fear death and the end. We spend a month trying to counter that fear. . . and how rarely it works.

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