November 1 was All Saints Day (aka All Hallows Day); we celebrated it in church this past Sunday. Pastor Bruce was away, so I was in charge of the service. I had been to an All Saints service in seminary, but that was the only one I've been to--and I definitely hadn't led a service before. Yet, I felt it was important to do (as we go through the church lectionary and the church calendar).
I had invited people to bring pictures of people who were now with God. During communion, I placed the bread and the cup at tables where they were surrounded by the pictures; the people were invited to partake of the Lord's Supper in the communion of the saints. During the message I invited people to share stories of how people from their cloud of witnesses helped them fix their eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). I started with sharing about my grandfather, Paul Wenell, and how he taught me to work hard, love life (he was a joker) and make time for family and faith. He would always read the nativity story to us at Christmas before passing out presents (reminding us of what the greatest gift we could receive is). He went through a painful battle with cancer without fear because he knew that his true home was in Heaven.
Even now, though All Saints Day is past, take time to remember people in your cloud of witnesses and how they have helped you fix your eyes on Jesus. And let it inspire you to be a witness yourself, leaving a lasting legacy in the faith.