“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1)
Today is All Saints Day. If you are connected to the Catholic tradition, you know that this is one of the holy days celebrated in The Church. The idea behind it is that we, who believe, should take the time to honor and remember those who have “gone on before us” – either martyred for their faith, or who lived a life of dedication and service to God.
Many non-traditional churches do not celebrate All Saints Day. But I really think they should. It seems to me that it is vital to remember and honor those who have been faithful in following Christ – and who inspired us to follow Him as well.
This is part of the thought behind our verse for the day. We have “a great cloud of witnesses” surrounding us, watching us… maybe even cheering us on. They are interested in what happens in our lives. They have a connection with our present that is rooted in their time on this earth. And we have a connection with them.
It is a good thing to remember those who have been our examples in following Christ – who lived lives of faith, who prayed for us, who sowed seeds of love into our lives. Some of whom were instrumental in our own decision to follow Jesus.
We need to take time to thank God for Godly parents… who established their own households on the principle of “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” They weren’t perfect – but they did their best to set Godly standards, and to take us to church, and to BE THERE with us.
And we need to remember Godly grandparents… who walked with Jesus, who got up early each day to spend time in Bible reading and prayer. Who were unashamed to speak of God and His goodness. And who showered our own lives with so many expressions of His love.
It is important to remember our Godly ministers and priests. Who faithfully served the Lord. Who were above reproach. Who modeled Godly behavior for us all. Who preached the Bible to us – and who faithfully proclaimed the gospel message to us, and who knelt with us when we first prayed to receive Jesus… and what He had done for us.
We need to take the time to reflect upon every person whom God has used to touch our own lives. Evangelists. Godly relatives. Godly neighbors. Godly co-workers… All the people who were instrumental in God’s work in our own lives.
And most of all, it is good to take the time to ask the essential question: “Am I being used to touch someone I know with God’s love and goodness?” All Christians are meant to be people of influence – giving people an undeniable glimpse into the reality of God, as He lives through our lives.
How will people remember us when we are gone? What will be our legacy? How will we have inspired those around us? How will God display His goodness through our lives?
These are the reflections of All Saints Day. How we will be remembered matters… and it begins with how we live today.
Prayer Focus: God, I thank You for every person who has helped me to see just how real You are… by their faithfulness in their faith in You.