This could be an invitation. Maybe it's a bit of a warning--or at least a chance to get ready. This Sunday we will celebrate "The Feast of All Saints," and as we do every year we will remember "those we love and see no more." And as we always do, we will name names and share pictures. Many of you brought those pictures to share this week. I'm always so touched to see in these faces and images the ongoing stories of our lives. Parents; friends; siblings; children. Old, faded photographs--and achingly new ones. I expect that on Sunday morning our tables and altar will be filled with more images and memories. Bring the pictures--and you'll find tables to nestle them with your dreams.
For me, these annual, visual reminders on All Saints Sunday open my heart to the power of love, and the vulnerability of loss. I'm also reminded, quite concretely, that we are connected through both that love and that loss. This year at Grace I think we know this even more tangibly. We have known loss this year. People we love have died--and people we love feel genuine, enduring grief. On this particular Sunday we do our best to stay open to the truth of life and death, and we try not to hide from the love and loss.
So this Sunday we will be touched by remarkable music. We will be inspired by a baptism. We will be asked to trust and believe that life is more powerful than death. We will be asked to open our eyes and hearts to the "cloud of witnesses" around us, and on whose shoulders we get to rise. And I will do my best to remind us of the depth of of our connections, and I will invite us--and challenge us--to care faithfully for each other, and for this place of Grace.
Yes, this will be good Sunday. You are invited. Come to sing, to pray, to witness, and to be engaged. What I most love about our shared life is that it can be so real, so engaging. We are not in this place to be entertained, but to be moved and transformed. To change. To grieve. To heal. And we will.
See you soon.