The weather up here in Prescott is crisper now—fall is really in the air. This weekend, of course, is Halloween, and if we were worshipping in our sanctuary together, we would be celebrating All Saints this Sunday. At CCOV UCC we celebrate All Saints by lighting candles as we remember loved ones who have gone home to glory before us, as well as by singing the hymn, “For All the Saints.” This week in particular I am remembering and missing all the dearly departed saints I have known throughout my life, and I am especially thinking about the ones at CCOV I have known throughout the years. This Sunday, if we were in worship together, we would read the names of Jim Gaspar, Fred Rhoads, and Hugh Schilling, our own dear church members who departed in 2020.
Halloween, All Souls’ Day, and All Saints’ are interrelated. For a good history and explanation of their significance, you can click here: https://www.hfcc.edu/news/2019/halloween-all-saints-all-souls-holidays. What I would like most to point you to is the comforting passage in Revelation 21:3-5a: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ’See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for this first things have passed away.’ And the one who was seated on the throne said, ’See, I am making all things new.’” Even though we won’t be in person to light candles together this year, perhaps you can light a few at home to recognize and celebrate that there are no real or permanent boundaries between time and space, this world and the next. We are on a continuum separated from our departed loved ones only by a thin veil and only for a time. God’s reality and our reality coexist! Know that God dwells with us here and there; for God’s home is among us, wherever we are. This is the good news of our faith!