November has always seemed to me to be a month for reflection. It is a month that is bookended by All Saints and Thanksgiving, giving us time to remember and give thanks; both practices that are important to our faith lives.
In the hymn “Rejoice in God’s Saints” verses 1 & 2, we sing,
Rejoice in God’s saints today and all days!
A world without saints forgets how to praise.
Their depth of adoring, Lord, help us to share.
Their faith in acquiring the habit of prayer,
Some march in events to turn them God’s way;
Some need to withdraw, the better to pray;
Some carry the gospel through fire and flood:
Our world is their parish, their purpose is God.
Rejoice in those saints, unpraised and unknown,
Who bear someone’s cross, or shoulder their own:
They share our complaining, our comforts, our cares:
What patience in caring, what courage is theirs!
In worship this month we will be reminded of the great cloud of saints as names of those we have loved hang above us; a beautiful reminder that we have each been shaped and touched by love.
Who are those saints in your life who have taught you about God’s love and grace? Who told you the stories of Jesus—his miracles, his parables, his teachings? Who taught you when to march and when to withdraw and pray? Who shared in complaining, comfort, or care with you, or helped shoulder a burden?
I encourage you this month to make a list of the saints in your life, those present and those who have gone before us, and reflect on what you learned from them. Tell their story to someone else. Write their names down where you will see them as a reminder to give thanks. Light a candle. Give a donation in their honor or memory. Send them a thank you note.
This month we take time to remember that we do not do this life of faith alone. We are given a gift of being companions to one another and for that we rejoice and give thanks.