Today is All Saints Day. While I love the fun aspects of Halloween – what’s not to love about costumes and candy? – I love All Saints Day for the way it ties me to something beyond fun. It anchors me in the past and points to the future. Hebrews 11 and 12 is one of the best known remembrances for the great cloud of witnesses that has gone before us. While I know that not all come from a rich faith heritage, when people start to share their story there is often at least someone in their family’s past who wasn’t a stranger to Truth.
Who are some of the saints in your family? Whose faithful shoulders are you standing on? In my family it is my Grandma Young. Even as I type this memories of her come racing back though she has been gone from this world for over 20 years. A strong memory that captures my grandma’s two great loves of Jesus and her family involves a weekend that our parents left my sisters and me at our grandparents. Grandma faithfully played the piano at her church. We were too young to sit in church alone while she played, requiring our grandpa to attend with us. Grandma wore hearing aids to help her hear, but for some reason on that day the three of us belted out the hymns so loudly she probably didn’t need them! Grandpa was a sport to stand there, towering over the three of us when he probably wanted to shrink away from the smiling stares.
But I wasn’t aware of that aspect at the time; what I remember is watching my grandma play with gusto and joy as she beamed at the three of us joining her in singing to God. I have no doubt that I am in China as a result of her prayers and faithful life. As the generational mantle is now being passed on in our family and I see the potential in my nieces, I wonder the ways in which they will join the cloud of witnesses. But on this day, instead of looking to the future, join with the author of Hebrews and as we fix our eyes on Jesus, be reminded of the ways he has worked in your life and family.
Who are the saints in your family?