Happy November! Autumn is well and truly here in the northern hemisphere. Even if the days are still plenty warm in southern Arizona, the amount of daylight has shortened enough that what’s left of my “summer garden” is no longer producing and I’ve torn out most of the various vines and plants to make room for my “winter garden” seeds.
November 1 is the Feast of All Saints on the church calendar. It’s the day we remember the “communion” or community of saints that have gone before us in the faith. Since I was focused on community in last week’s post, I thought I would extend that theme to look beyond those who are alive and with us in this day and year. After all, the community of saints has a very real impact in our lives—in wondrous and varied ways.
Think for a moment about the items in your home. You have books lining your bookshelves because some long-ago saints figured out an alphabet, then the most efficient way to gather many words on paper pages and bind them together. You can listen to music whenever you want because prior generations of saints developed the recording, duplication, and transmission technologies required to capture and share those melodies. Before that, church was one of the places (beyond the village pub or city opera house) where people could go on a regular basis to hear communities of people make music.
On a spiritual level, we are beholden to that community of saints for the Bibles and other spiritual books easily available to us in our homes. We can worship anytime through music we can hear on our phones. Because of the hard work of modern saints, we can watch liturgies on television or participate in worship and prayer on Zoom. All of this binds us together with those prior generations who brought forth unimaginable possibilities for us all to appreciate and utilize in our lives.
Think about your day and your week. In what ways are you blessed by the contributions from the communion of saints? For what ancient gifts and modern marvels do you wish to thank God and the community of saints?