a sense of belonging

Breathing air of all the saints. Belonging.

Kandinsky - all saints

These words, spoken by a friend, continue to ring in my ears in the days that follow All Saints Day.

Belonging – the feeling this word can stir brings comfort to some and isolation to others. Be it family, school, city, faith community, nation, race… most people have a sense of where they belong or where they do not belong.

The definition of belonging has proved its power time and again throughout  the course of history. It has planted the flags of  countries who have fought for borders and stoked the fire of anger among races and creeds. It has created communities brave enough to swim against the stream of oppression, giving people meaning and purpose to their lives and opened doors to welcome the weary of body and soul.

Belonging is a two-sided word. On one side, its definition has created centuries of war and conflict as defiance; on the other side, its definition has opened the arms and hearts of people throughout the ages welcoming the needy and exiled as compassion.

Yet on a day such as All Saints, belonging, rises above these human struggles and passions. For a moment, “all-that-is” takes a deep breath of gratitude. Our memories are flooded with those beloved who have gone before us — and,  for a moment we feel their imprint in the world and in our lives.

It is a good thing we are gifted with a day that slows us enough that our senses can move beyond the distractions of everyday living. A day when we can join in communion with all the saints – celebrating what “was and is and is to come”.

the first martyr, two days after Christmas!

I am very grateful for how the Episcopal Church uses the yearly calendar to honor the people in history who have lived their faith in many ways and taken great risk to share God’s good news.

We do not celebrate long before we are reminded that living the good news is filled with risk — because God is making ALL things new!

And so we remember – Stephen… (to learn more click here)

December 27-

Collect of the Day ~ Stephen, Deacon and Protomartyr

We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to your Son Jesus Christ, who stands at your right hand; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

For all the saints–

In celebration of all who have blazed the trail we humbly follow– (along with God’s gift of humor)

Happy All Saints Day… and to learn more about this holy day visit here — Sharon Pearson offers us great resources (and introduced the video below)

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