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All Saints’ Day: You are not alone

All Saints Day

Perhaps some of our struggle as Christians, as fathers, and as husbands is that we think we are on our own. When life comes at you so fast, we put up our defensive measures and try to handle things. That is actually very good -that is what we are supposed to do as men. However, one of the downsides to this is we become hyper-focused on dealing with and fixing everything that has come up that we focus on ourselves. We forget we’re not the only ones who have dealt with problems before – we’re not the first people to encounter challenges – we’re not alone. To this concern, I would submit that All Saints’ Day is a great celebration of remembrance that can help us deal with these issues of life.

First, the whole point of All Saints’ Day is to remember that God, in His mercy, has called innumerable people from all times and places, to trust in Jesus Christ. Those who trust in Christ are saints – not of their own merit or worthiness, but simply by God’s choosing to give them faith in Christ —including you who trust in Christ. That means no saint is on his own. As the letter to the Hebrews tells us:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  – The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 12:1–2.

Those who trust in Christ are saints – not of their own merit or worthiness, but simply by God’s choosing to give them faith in Christ —including you who trust in Christ.

We as Saints are not alone

We have those who have gone before us and those who are alongside of us right now who are saints, who trust Christ. They, by their interaction with us through reading of them in history or through meeting together with them in real-time, are to help us in our Christian walk. That is what the Church is to be: a community of people transformed by the Gospel that lives out their faith for the sake of those around them. That means our fellow saints need our witness too, which is the second benefit of All Saints’ Day.

Second, you who have been called by God through the power of the Spirit to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord are a saint. That means your whole life is swallowed up in the reality of Christ – you are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17); you are freed from the consequence of sin (John 8:31-36); you live not for yourself, but for the sake of others. Thus, we cannot be alone. As a Christian, and most especially as a husband and father, there are other saints (namely your family and congregation) who need you -who need your skills and your talents, yes, but more importantly your example. 

You are a new creation; you are freed from the consequence of sin; you live not for yourself, but for the sake of others.

As saints we are an example to others

As a saint, you set an example to your neighbors -both Christians and unbelievers. By what you practice, through hearing God’s Word, prayer, being in fellowship with other saints (i.e. going to church), and how you carry yourself in life (love, joy, peace, patience, etc.) – you will be an example. Now, understand being a saint does not make you perfect in this world -the whole list of saints from Hebrews 11 can attest to that. Being a saint however is one who strives to put off the sinful flesh – literally to put it to make sure it stays dead. Being a saint is to fight against those fleshly desires —be they lust, greed, anger, covetousness, etc. Being a saint is not easy, but Christ has promised to be with you through it all – until the Day He returns. That is the final benefit of All Saints’ Day.

If you attend a service that celebrates All Saints’ Day, I can almost guarantee one of the readings will be Revelation 7:9-17. That vision that John records in those verses is one of the most beautiful, hope and awe inspiring passages in all of Scripture. It is the vision of the Victorious Lamb of God, seated on His throne, and the myriads upon myriads of people whom He cleansed by His blood. People from every tribe, tongue, and nation; people from all walks of life; people from every socioeconomic division; people from every diverse background; all of them are standing around the throne singing praise to the Lord God Almighty. 

Behold A Host Arrayed In White

That is the eternal reality that every saint belongs to – even the saints who are living today. Those saints were preserved through the tribulation, that is, this current time – the time in between Christ’s ascension and His return. Those saints were made clean by Christ’s blood and were kept in the faith until the day of their death. Now, they shine in glory with the Lamb who is their Shepherd, who has wiped away every tear from their eyes. That is the end state of a saint —to be there in that glorious throng. 

All Saints’ Day is a time to reflect on the lives of the faithful Saints who have entered rest in the arms of their Savior Jesus. Yet, it is also a reminder for us, here who struggle amidst a world of sin and death, that we are one with them.  We share in that same heavenly glory here and now, though we do not see it nor experience it fully as those who have died in the Lord do. We know that one day, we will be united with them on that great and glorious unending day in the presence of our God and King. God has made this promise to us in Christ. Let us stand firm in that hope – together as Christ’s saints.