SUNDAY REFLECTION: All Saints
All Saints had its origins in the fourth century, when churches in the East began to celebrate “the feast of the martyrs of the whole world” on the Sunday after Pentecost. Several Western churches adopted this festival and kept it on various dates in April or May, but in the early Middle Ages the church of Rome assigned it the much later date of November first and broadened the feast to include all the saints. Western Christendom has followed this custom ever since. Saints are Christians who in various ways, often against great odds, showed an extraordinary love for Christ. The Holy Spirit acted in their lives so that they chose to bring aid to the needy, justice to the oppressed, hope to the sorrowful, and the divine word of forgiveness to sinners. For the sake of Christ, they were servants to the people of their day; and the service they rendered in the past makes them examples to the rest of the people of God throughout history. The Church also believes that our life on earth has eternal consequences; and so our remembrance of what the saints were is directed to what they are. It is the Church’s conviction — a conviction often expressed in the Anglican tradition — that the saints continue to be our partners and fellow-servants before the face of God’s glory. We pray for our present needs, and the saints pray with us — not as if their prayers were better than our own, but because they are still bound to us in mutual service as members of the one body of Christ. For this very reason, we may say of the Church’s saints what the Letter to the Hebrews says about the Old Testament saints — that they and their service shall not be perfect until all of God’s friends have answered the invitation of Christ and arrived at the banquet of glory. For that is the ministry of the saints in heaven as on earth: to help others become partners in the salvation of God. (For All The Saints)
WELCOME! Let me take this opportunity to welcome back The Reverend Peter Smyth who will lead our worship services for this morning. Please extend your warm hospitality and kindness to Peter. Thank you!
2019 ADVENT CALENDAR: A Companion
Sign-up for a daily email in Advent with meditations from Archbishop Melissa and spiritual directors in the diocese.
Each day will include a selected image, hymn, or poem that evokes the actions of Advent: waiting, longing, anticipating, expecting, and preparing. The art is a means for awakening our imaginations to renew our journey through Advent once more.
Advent is usually the season to once again celebrate the coming birth of Jesus. Yet the scriptures and hymns also point us to the central event we are expecting in Advent: the future coming of Jesus Christ.
This is the time of fulfillment, the time of the kingdom in all its wholeness, the time of final judgement which brings justice and mercy to all.
This is the event we await in Advent. Sign-up for the daily email by visiting this website https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/diocesan-resources/2019-advent-calendar. It’s free to subscribe. Emails will begin December 1, 2019.
About the contributors: Archbishop Melissa Skelton will offer the meditations for each Sunday in Advent. Each meditation will include a question for reflection that you can mull over for the day. Over fifteen different spiritual directors from throughout the diocese will offer the weekday reflections. Spiritual directors are lay and ordained people who have trained and are skilled in the ministry of listening, especially listening for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people they companion. Spiritual direction has a long and rich tradition in the Anglican church.