All Saints’ Day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical Body of your son Christ our Lord.  ~All Saints’ Day Collect BCP p.245

You have knit together your elect …” All Saints’ Day. A time when that knitting connects the seen and unseen worlds. A time when, for a moment, we “cross over.” A time we allow ourselves to be touched by the angels and saints of God – those among us now and those who have gone before us. I’ve just returned from a funeral. That occasion sent me back some twenty years ago to another death … another time of being “knit together.” I remember it like this:

It was a wintry morning in February. The night slowly faded into the morning–where one began and the other ended was a mystery–much like the mystery that enveloped me as I rose from the couch where I’d been keeping watch through the night. As I stood by the hospital bed, Mother’s breathing grew more and more labored and the silences between the breaths longer and longer.

My sister, Sally, joined me. We stood on either side of the bed each one holding a frail hand. “It’s okay, Mama, we’re here with you. We’ll be fine, Mama, you can let go.” In the long space that followed each breath our eyes met across the bed silently asking, “Is she gone?” And then finally one last gasp–and she joined the glorious company of the Saints in Light.

For an instant–for the twinkling of an eye–we stood with her on that holy threshold that leads from this life to the next. In that moment, we held hands across the bounds of time and space, life and death. We were “knit together” in one communion and fellowship.

It was a “thin place.” A thin place … that’s what our Celtic ancestors called those places and moments where the seen and unseen worlds connect.

A thin place. That’s All Saints’ Day–a day that defies all rationality. A day not of understanding, but of faith. On that day we who are the saints of God rejoice and celebrate the promise that in God’s kingdom there are no boundaries between heaven and earth, between God and humanity, between the living and the dead.

All Saints’ Day allows us to know the power of a thin place. It is a time to be vulnerable and feel ourselves wrapped in the embrace of a God who is continually making all things new.

On All Saints’ Day we celebrate our redeemed, sanctified lives knit together with all those we love, those who have gone before us–mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, children, friend–and we celebrate those who journey with us now, those we know, those we know not, and those yet to come.

This All Saints’ Day–unbounded by time or space–dare to stand in the thin place and join voices with all the company of heaven singing, “Amen, praise and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Amen.”

–The Rev. Susie Skinner, Confluence Co-Founder

*** Taken from the Diocesan email iSeek sent out on Friday, October 26,  2018 ***