Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bishop's Note: Collect for the Feast of All Saints & All Souls

Bishop Eric Menees

“Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.”

Yesterday, on the feast of Saints Simon & Jude, I had the honor of leading a group of thirty evangelical pastors in the service of Morning Prayer. This was a very new and different service for my brothers, who are used to a more freewheeling type of prayer service. I was clear to point out that our worship has its roots in the first centuries of Christianity and the beginning of the monastic movement. At this service, eyebrows were raised as our prayers and canticles referenced the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saints Simon & Jude - not the normal fare for evangelical pastors!  

Why is it that we remember the saints? Well, because their lives reflect the Kingdom of God, as well as men and women's ability to connect with the Lord and serve Him in love and obedience. Our Lord Himself regularly pointed to the lives of saints - Abraham, Moses, and Elijah just to name a few. Those men, like the saints of the church, are witnesses to the Grace of God in the past, and proclaimers of the Grace of God for the present and future.

It is interesting how the lives of certain saints call out to us and connect with us individually. For me, St. Francis of Assisi has been a tremendous inspiration and example. His life is very well documented - both the good and the bad. Francis was a redeemed sinner seeking to be obedient to our Lord and His call upon his life. While no saint, I too am a redeemed sinner seeking to be obedient to our Lord and His call upon my life.

This Lord's Day, as you gather with fellow believers around the altar of the Lord to hear the Word faithfully preached and to receive the sacraments faithfully administered, I pray that you will call to mind and remember the Saints of the Lord - their lives and their examples of love, obedience, and grace.

May the Lord bless you and keep you as you journey toward living the life of a saint!

No comments: