Happy All Saints Day, you saint you!

Dear Church Family,

The set readings for Morning Prayer this week have centred on the book of 1 Timothy; one of Paul’s letters to his protégé, Timothy who was busy leading the church in Ephesus. We’ve had some lively and varied discussions this week as we’ve read and reflected during online Morning Prayer – if you want to catch up, you’ll find them to watch on our Facebook page from Tuesday 27th and Thursday 29th October.

Today is Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve, the first half of a two-day festival. In Christian terms, today is about facing fears & mocking them; tomorrow is about celebrating those who have lived and fought and died and who now live permanently in the light, with Christ.

Paul’s letter to Timothy and the events of this weekend seem to me, a reminder of who us Christians are called to be. Each of us has this primary calling, through baptism – called out of darkness and into the light of Christ and in that adoption process we are called into the family of God’s people, the church. As Karl Barth loved to say,

“God has chosen us all in Christ: at the deepest level we are all called Jesus in the eyes of the Father.”

Our primary calling is also a reminder that, in this world, we will face darkness and evil, goodness and light and that we must acknowledge that truth rather than avoid it.

Hallowe’en admits that all is not as it should be or as we wish it was. But as we step into the festival of All Saints on Sunday and then into All Souls, we are giving time to look the darkness square in the face and from there, into a renewed hope because in Jesus, we are ALL saints – by virtue of our baptism we are in Christ and called Jesus by the Father. That is something to celebrate and commemorate.

In her book “Out of Sorts”, Sarah Bessey says this:

“I don’t want to be swallowed by the darkness. Nor do I want to be blinded by the beautiful facade. No, I want to be part of a people who see the darkness, know it’s real, and then, then, then, light a candle anyway.”

On Sunday evening, to commemorate All Saints’ Day, there will be an online Memorial Service, to give space to remember and honour all those who have gone before us, from the darkness of this world into the light of Christ, particularly remembering those who have died in the past year. We would love you to join us on Facebook at 6 pm, and you may wish to have a candle or tealight to hand.

This weekend also sees the launch of our Advent and Christmas schedule – ‘Hope is Born’.