A Prayer for All Saints’ Sunday – November 2, 2008

Hallelujah, hallelujah, indeed –

“Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown.”
Today is a day when we can sense
those seraphim
circling round your throne more clearly than on most days.
Today is a day of rejoicing in life eternal,
in the transcendence of your presence
beyond what we can see and experience
within the limits of our space-time continuum.
Thank you that you are God beyond our ability to understand.
Thank you that you are God beyond our ability to articulate.
Thank you that you are God beyond us.
Today is also a day when we celebrate and remember
with love, affection and longing those of our number
who are no longer with us here inside the bounds of physical space and time.
Today is a day when we remember our limits
even as we celebrate your limitless love
and creative energy and imagination.
We are very much aware today, Lord,
that we have bodies that bear the marks of time,
bodies that eventually wear out
and are laid in the earth to await your resurrection day.
And yet…
And yet…
in some miraculous, mysterious way-
we also remember today
that the inhabitants of those bodies are –
in some way we cannot even begin to understand –
here with us, even in their absence.
It is a paradox too amazing for us,
yet we know it to be true.
For as we experience your presence with us today,
we also acknowledge the loving presence
of all those who have gone before us on this journey of faith.
And we thank you for the heritage that is ours
because of them.
We thank you for the richness of memory
and the reality of shared experience
and the gift of connections that stretch across the limits of time.
Strengthen our faith as we remember theirs.
Enrich our community with one another
because we share community with them.
Enliven our conversations
because we have been blessed to know them,
to read the words of so many others,
even across the centuries,
to somehow share in those lives already lived
even as we live ours today.
Continue to bless us as we live for you
on this side of the veil;
empower us to be salt and light in the here and now.
Remind us of those in our community who are even now grieving
those who are gone from us,
though present with you.
Help us to help each other as we walk our own journey
to the hereafter.
Grant us grace in the living of these days –
as our country faces into one of the most important elections
in our national history,
as we find our way through the current financial and healthcare crises,
as war is waged around the world.
Help us, Lord God, to keep looking up,
to set our sights higher,
to walk in the way of the saints gone before us,
to walk in the way of Jesus.
In whose name we pray today. Amen.

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