Following All Saints

Sarah Mortimer

November usually vanishes for me in a flurry of teaching and frantic mornings scrambles to find thermals and bike lights.  But the weeks between All Saints and Advent are their own special time of the Church year, as Common Worship gently reminds us.  The season begins with the great festival to celebrate God’s people through time and space, to allow ourselves to be inspired once more, and to commit ourselves to the community we share with them.  And after All Saints comes Remembrance Sunday, that moment for collective acknowledgement of the suffering of war and the true meaning of peace, past and present.  The emphasis in these weeks is on the Christian life as a social one, on the relationships that bind us to each other, now and in eternity.

At their best, these occasions also remind us of the sheer diversity of the Christian life, with its plethora of saints from so many cultures and places and backgrounds.  If we are honest, we recognize that this diversity can be hard, that the saints and heroes so unlike us can challenge our own identities and ideals.  But we know too that to God all are precious and in Christ all can be reconciled, not through forced uniformity, bland compromise, or creative misremembering, but through the power of the cross and the light of true love.