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FOR ALL THE SAINTS WHO FROM THEIR LABORS REST – Covenant Community Church, Birmingham Alabama

FOR ALL THE SAINTS WHO FROM THEIR LABORS REST

NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR ALL SAINT SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2022 

At Covenant this Sunday nearest to November 1st, we will observe as “All Saints Sunday.”  Monday is “Halloween.”  In Old English, the word “Hallow” means “holy.” So, the evening before All Saints Day is “All Hallows Eve,” or as we know it “Halloween.” 

Halloween has very strong religious roots but as time went by, it became diluted with secular practices. This has made people forget that this “eve” was originally intended as a preparation for the main feast of “All Saints Day.” 

In preparing for this “Holy Time” at Covenant, of displaying names and pictures of my “Great Cloud of Witnesses,” I counted 23 relatives that have died since our last observance of “All Saint’s Day.”  They range in age from 17 (the youngest,) to the age of 109 (the oldest). I’ll admit that was a bit of a traumatizing statistic, but it makes me thankful for my relationship with God. It makes me grateful for my faith in Christ that sustains me in the face of such a huge number of losses in one year. That number doesn’t include the other folks I’ve known and loved who died this past year. It doesn’t include 4 of our Covenant “Saints,” Mama Dorothy Swims, Gene Aaron, Johnathan Quinn, and most recently, Todd Fields. With all these losses, my faith and confidence is in knowing “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”   

So, for me, our Covenant All Saints observance this Sunday will be sobering in remembering my family and family of choice additions from 2021-22 to my “Great Cloud of Witnesses.” Yet it will also be hopeful, and faith filled “For All the Saints Who from Their Labor’s Rest.”    

Join us for “All Saints Sunday” with a special litany this week, in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream. My sermon is “For All the Saints, Who from Their Labors Rest,” based on “Hebrews 12:1-2” and “Luke 6:20-23.”

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