Those Who Have Gone Before Us
“For everything, there is a season and a time for every activity under heaven.” Today we celebrate All Souls day. We remember all those who have died, pray for those who lived among us and touched our lives, and open our hearts in a special way to those who mourn the dead.
Growing up and watching my elder family members go before us, death was not really at the forefront of my mind until the year of 2002. This was the worst year of my entire life where within a span of 9 months, my Aunt Grace, my grandmother, and my father passed away all three months from each other. That year was a smack in my face that a long life is not promised to any of us. Our life can be thriving one minute and the next we could be saying our goodbyes. Death is a topic of conversation that is hard for people to talk about. Death is hard, it’s sad, and sometimes can be not known. In the instance of my father, he was here one day and gone the next. Family and friends who are left behind often struggle with the question of “why” and “why did this happen.” It wasn’t until way later in life that a friend mentioned to me “your dad in fact has not died, (in the spiritual sense) but lives among all the saints and angels paving the path for all of you.”
As we see in John’s Gospel, everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life and will be raised on the last day. Our church celebrates All Saints day and All Souls day back to back. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It happens in the month of November perhaps due to the falling leaves and colder temperatures that our thoughts turn to the reminder of Christ’s death made necessary to bring us new life. We take the entire month of November to remember all those who have paved the way for us to help and guide us to live a life that is devoted to Christ and remember everything that we are grateful for so that one day we will in fact live with them eternally among Christ, and all the saints and angels.
So if you find your heart heavy on this day, especially if you have lost a loved one in the past year, know that you are not alone. We honor and remember them along with all their friends and family on this beautiful day. When our loved ones go before us it leaves an ache in our hearts that never goes away, but if you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, you will see them again one day. Our loved ones’ memories keep them alive and lights the path to heaven for all the living.
Grant eternal rest, O Lord to the fallen who has gone before us. Help each of us keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the one true king that we may all celebrate in the resurrection of life again one day.