For All the Saints
by Elaine Pierce
The verses we're reading in 1 Chronicles today are not "typical" Sunday morning scripture. Who are these people, anyway? I can't pronounce most of these names. And these names are a small fraction of the list of names that appear in this book. In fact, the first nine chapters are Israel's family history, dating back to Adam. These are real people who lived many thousands of years ago, but they reinforce the "realness" of God's Word. The Bible is filled with real people who served God, who sinned mightily, who asked forgiveness, and who we will one day meet in heaven.
God's family is diverse. It is filled with saints and sinners - people just like you and me. As we read in Galatians 3:28, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Today you will listen to hundreds of names being read aloud as we remember the saints who have gone before us, many who have served God faithfully at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. You will recognize some names, but you will not know most of them. They won't be as difficult to pronounce as the names in 1 Chronicles, but they will be unfamiliar. It will be easy to let your mind wander as these names are read. I know I have done that in years past.
I would encourage you on this All Saints' Day to thank God for the rich faith heritage we have inherited at our church. God has blessed us beyond measure, and we have been able to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout Columbus and the world through the people who have gone before us. Each name is precious to someone, and that someone may be sitting beside you in church. The names read are recorded in the Book of Life. The Chronicles of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church are knit into the fabric of God's people - thanks be to God for what he has done and will do through us and in us.
Lord, on this All Saints' Sunday, I thank you for those who have gone before me, who are resting from their labors. What joy it will be when we are reunited. Help me each day to spread your love, your joy and your peace. Amen.