By all Thy saints still striving,
for all Thy saints at rest,
To Thee, O blessed Jesus,
All praises be addressed:
Thou, Lord, didst win the battle
That they might conquerors be;
Their crowns of living glory
Are lit with rays from Thee.
It is the first of November, a day set aside on many liturgical calendars as the Feast of All Saints. And while I do not observe it in the sense of a liturgical feast day, I do use the occasion to remember and give thanks for those I have known who in the past year have joined “all Thy saints at rest.”
Apostles, prophets, martyrs,
And all the sacred throng
Who wear the spotless raiment,
Who raise the ceaseless song;
For these, passed on before us,
Saviour, we Thee adore,
And, walking in their footsteps,
Would serve Thee more and more.
I remember and give thanks for:
- Alice – A friend with an incredible story and wonderful spirit who I wrote about earlier
- “Mrs. B” – A good friend of my wife’s family whose faithfulness, enthusiastic witness, and honest faith I came to respect
- Bill – a lifelong Presbyterian who was faithful in his participation but quiet and humble in manner
- Lynn – Another faithful witness who suffered much at the end but knew in whom her trust lay
- Grace – Where do I start? A daughter of the manse (Lutheran to be specific) who knew what she believed and was not afraid to tell anyone. She had the most gracious spirit, possessed the gift of hospitality and was not afraid to use it, and had a faith that was both simple and intellectual. She lived life on her terms and to the Glory of God. (And in yesterday’s post in the picture at the end the “Little Luther” is standing on a German version of Luther’s Little Catechism given to me by Grace.)
- Norm – a gentleman and respected public safety official who in the midst of a very long battle with cancer did not lose his faith, humor, positive outlook and sense of adventure.
- Phyllis – A gracious lady with a love of, and talent for, music – especially used for the glory of God.
- Joe – A humble but talented minister who lived a long and faithful life in the service of God and could always work in a word of praise to the Lord
- Jack Rogers – known to many for his faithful service to the church and one I hope to say a bit more about in a future post.
And so on this day I give grateful thanks to the Lord of All for having each of them in my life at one time or another and the witness and encouragement they have each been to me.
Then praise we God the Father,
And praise we God the Son,
And God the Holy Spirit,
Eternal Three in One;
Till all the ransomed number
Fall down before the Throne,
And honor, power, and glory
Ascribe to God alone.
[Verses from “From all Thy saints in warfare” (slightly altered) by Horatio Nelson (a nephew of the famous admiral of the same name)]