Around this time each year, many churches celebrate what they call “All Saints’ Day.” On this day, we remember all the believers in the family of God that have lived before us. Men and women we read about in the Bible like Abraham, Moses, Paul, Mary, Martha, Jesus’ Disciples, and so many more are all considered to be saints because they were all “set apart” for God’s holy special purposes. On All Saints’ Day, we also remember those friends and relatives that have died before us and were followers of Jesus. In a sense, we are all saints because we are Christians, but these people from the Bible and our own time, have been special examples to us all of what it means to love and follow God. God used them to show us how to love and honor Him through their lives. We are all part of the family of God, and if you believe, then you are part of God’s family and will be a saint too.
The Bible says in Hebrew, Chapter 12, Verse 1: “Since we have such a huge crowd of men and women of faith watching and surrounding us, let us stop doing anything that slows us down or holds us back, especially any sins that grip us so tightly that they trip us up. Let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before each of us.”
If you think of life as a sort of race to be run, then all the saints are our cheerleaders. They are praying for and encouraging us as we live our life – the life that God has chosen especially for us to live. We can always remember them and their examples of how they “ran their race of life” and know they were a special gift from God given to help us stay faithful when things get hard. Let’s remember to thank God for giving us all these men and women who help us know what it means to be the family of God. God gave us their stories in the Bible to help us remember and learn from them. That why we read and study them in Sunday School and at church each week.
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for giving us such wonderful examples of the saints who help us know how to run our own race of life. They help us know how to handle difficult situations from their own struggles. We know that just like You, they want what is best for us. Let us always know You and they are helping us to choose what is the right thing to do, and that we are all part of Your family – the family of God. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.