Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
Tomorrow, November 1, is the commemoration of All Saints – when we remember the great cloud of witnesses, living and dead, who are bound up together in Christ. Though for our Catholic brethren this includes only those who have been canonized, for us, it includes every other person who ever has been, is, or will be in Christ.
We will be celebrating and remembering this important day in worship this coming Sunday. Why? Because we believe in the “communion of saints” – as it says in the Apostles’ Creed. It is an essential understanding of our faith, one we should not take for granted. On All Saints, these words from our baptismal creed take on a tangible quality – in light, in memory, in life.
We must remember that we are called into one body. Though we are all indispensable pieces in the greater puzzle, we nevertheless do not have personal claim upon the promises of Christ. They are not a prize to hold over others’ heads.
Instead, we know that the new life promised to us comes to all of us – together. We claim the gifts of God side by side, as we were meant to. This means that we cannot discount another person simply because they look or sound or think differently than we do. They are still our brothers and sisters – and we are all woven together into a single garment of destiny.
As we approach this holy remembrance with reverence, we must remember that we are joining with a great host of people – living and dead – who are all around us, bound to us, in every single moment. This includes not only our individual families of faith, but the family of humanity as well.
There is much turmoil in the world and in our country at this moment. It is more important than ever to remember our common calling of love that we have received from God. My prayer for all of us is that we will truly feel the presence of the great cloud in our midst and reach out our hands to care for one another – for we are all ONE body.