The end of this month, the 29th to be precise, would have been my father’s 90th birthday. It’s been almost a year-and-a-half since he died but it seems so fresh and recent. That’s both good and bad. Good, in that I remember him and his wise words vividly. Bad, in that it makes me miss him all the more.
But there is Good News! There always is, with our loving God and Father. He made us to live forever with Him. And He will let nothing — not even the devil or our sin — prevent that from happening. The Father sent His Son to be our Savior. To keep the Law and commandments for us. To die our death, and suffer our hell. To rise again, opening heaven to us. In Christ, we WILL — and we DO — live forever!
That joy is brought home to us as the Church celebrates All Saints Day on November 1 (or, for many churches like ours, on the first Sunday in November). It is a day to remember and rejoice in that promise of our Lord that our loved ones who have died are also still living. They are with Him right now, awaiting the Last Day when Jesus will return and raise the bodies of His saints. Giving us the new heaven and earth pictured in Revelation. What a wonder! Eden restored, but even better! And it will never, ever be taken away from us, or our loved ones who have died in the Lord.
It’s kind of interesting that the Church chose to place this celebration at the beginning of the long, dead months of winter. Perhaps that timing was intentional, to remind us that — just as we know spring will come — so too will our Lord and the eternal life on that Last Day. So, in the meantime, we can truly rejoice — even when we think of our departed loved ones; even when we contemplate our own impending end. Because sin, death, and the devil do NOT win. We do. All because of our Savior, Jesus Christ. That was the most important thing my dad ever taught me. Thanks, Dad. See you soon!