It begins with "For All the Saints." It ends with "We gather together to ask the Lord's Blessing" and then on the last Sunday of the Month, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." Somehow those bookends are truly bookends blessing our lives and everything that is in between.
For all the Saints—we remember. How wonderful to remember those who have shown us the way! Our dear friends whose "homegoing" is already accomplished and they have gone on to glory. We miss them terribly and always, but we do know they are basking in the fullness of God's glory. With joy and tears in our eyes we remember those who taught us to live well in this time through their laughter and through their ability to truly live fully, to truly live the days God gives.
Thanksgiving we gather together first and foremost to pause and say "Thank you God" for it all! For the joy and sorrow, for the challenges and the celebrations, for your incredible love that redeems us and makes us new we are humbly grateful.
The last Sunday of the month we begin Advent. How did that happen? Here we are at the beginning again. As we begin a new liturgical year we sing and we pray, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." We pray to know what this means in our lives, Emmanuel, "God with us."
It all comes together. The Saints in our lives have shown us "God with us." So often we don't realize what an incredible blessing the people in our lives are until they are gone from our sight. Whether we are blessed for a short time or a long time people make indelible marks upon our souls and we have the privilege of carrying with us their enduring beauty. Thanks be to God. And here in the meantime, we wait. We wait for the one who carries us into the fullness of God's presence. But this is no waiting while twiddling our thumbs. This is active waiting. While we wait for the glory about to be revealed to us we live, we build God's realm through acts of love and words of kindness. Oh, God help us live into this wonderland you have given, even today.