It’s still October, but November is close! At the beginning of November is a very important day, a day that brings many people together. Call it “election day.” Of course, I’m referring to “All Saints Sunday,” on November 4th. The “elect” are the saints: the poor in spirit, the pure of heart, the meek, the peacemakers, those who have suffered, hungered and thirsted for justice; chosen by God to share in the kingdom. And we also gather as those sharing a common baptism, to call out for mercy and share in a foretaste of the feast to come.
In part, I’m being silly. But it is significant that two days before that other election, we assemble with the saints to hear from the book of Revelation:
“He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new … It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”’
It’s reassuring: that whatever happens, the future belongs to God, the Alpha and the Omega (‘A’ and ‘Z’ in Greek alphabet) who makes all things new. Not that people aren’t capable of making a terrible mess of the world in the meantime! We do what we can (including voting) in hope that “mourning and crying and pain be no more.” You might check out the article for those who vote in this month’s Lutheran magazine: “Lutherans and Politics: the two kingdoms and putting the needs of others first.” (Let us know if you don’t get the Lutheran magazine, and want it). When we hear “you can’t be a Christian and vote for …” how do we respond?
All Saints Day is also a reminder of our unity. The people of St Luke don’t all vote the same way. Some may feel crushed by whatever happens on November 6th, some uncertain, relieved, ecstatic. But before, on November 4th, we celebrate the one Lord who calls us all family. Can our unity be a witness to the reign of Christ in an increasingly divided society?