In November we move into what I often think about as the ‘Remembrance Season’. It’s not just because of Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, but because of All Saints and All Souls, and the fact that there’s practically a saint a day to remember: martyrs and mystics, theologians, social reformers and men and women who were simply holy. This ‘great cloud of witnesses’ walks with us as we end the liturgical year and prepare ourselves again to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, God with us, Christ our Lord.
The point of all these saints is not to make us feel inadequate, but to encourage us in our pilgrimage. We don’t worship them, but see in their examples ways in which we can worship God with our lives as they did, ways in which we can help to change and challenge the world in Christ’s name, ways in which we can show the world that it need not be the way it is because God’s love in Christ has come to make all things new.
2015 draws to a close with more displaced people in our world than at any time since the end of the Second World War: more migrants, more refugees, more people fleeing the violence of others, more people terrified for their children, more people for whom the future holds little promise. As we move into the season of Advent, when we hear again the stories of the liberation of God’s people from slavery and fear, and the promise of salvation and abundant life with the birth of Jesus, let us commit ourselves anew to bringing the Good News of liberation from sin and death and fear to our world in word and action today: there is nothing our world needs more at this time of deep darkness for so many than the light of God’s love in Christ.
This article first appeared in the November 2015 edition of Church of England Devon Magazine