On Election Day, Remember the Saints

Today is Election Day, and many are anxious. I am. Maybe you are, too.

I find it provocative that this year, Election Day follows right on the heels of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. On those days, we commemorate the saints and hold close the memory of the departed. We are reminded that we’re part of a big and beloved community.

Today, as we steer our country and watch with baited breath, we need more than ever to have that community with us. To know, as we wait in our isolated pandemic pods, that we’re not alone. That is why I relentlessly study the Christian mystics, saints, artists, and pilgrims of old. For me, history is spiritual formation because it grounds me in something bigger than I am. I am part of a great cloud of witnesses with whom I am scudding across the sky toward home.

So, although All Saints Day may be over, I declare this to be All Saints WEEK. And on this Election Day, I urge you: remember the saints. The ones you read about in Scripture and spiritual texts from the past and present. They will guide and ground you.

Remember the saints. The ones who paved the way for the church and our country. The ones you love who have already gone home, perhaps far too soon. Their work and their memory is with you.

Remember the saints. The ones in your home. The ones you encounter on the street or on your Twitter and Facebook timelines. The ones who feel alone and anxious and vulnerable this week. They need you.

Remember the saints. Check in on them. Love them. Feel them near you. We are all—past and present, dead and living—in the same boat sailing toward a distant horizon. Or, to use a different image, “we’re all just walking each other home (Ram Dass).”

WEEKLY PRAYER: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday, Nov. 1, was All Saints Day, when we commemorate all the saints of the church, those that are known and those that are unknown. In our prayer for the week, Martin Luther King, Jr. gives thanks for the saints and foreparents that have preceded us in the faith.

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Oh God, our gracious, heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the creative insights in the universe. We thank Thee for the lives of great saints and prophets in the past, who have revealed to us that we can stand up amid the problems and difficulties and trials of life and not give in. We thank Thee for our foreparents, who’ve given us something in the midst of the darkness of exploitation and oppression to keep going. And grant that we will go on with the proper faith and the proper determination of will, so that we will be able to make a creative contribution to this world and in our lives. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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FRIDAY FAVORITES FOR PRAYER AND WRITING

Hello and welcome to Friday Favorites. Today is All Saints Day–let’s remember all those who have gone before us in the faith and pray for each other, too.

Prasanta Verma and I hope that this week’s links will enrich your prayer and writing life.

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Poems for All Saints Day via Englewood Review of Books (a beautiful collection of poetry about saints old and new)

Happy Halloween: Remember You Will Die via Jessica Mesman (“remembering death is a dusty practice that needs to be dusted off and used”)

All Hallow’s Eve; a sonnet of reclamation via Malcolm Guite (reclaiming this season as one of remembrance…we remember the light that shines in darkness)

 

Ecclesiastes 1, Recast in Classical Poetry via T. M. Moore ( new take on a familiar chapter of the Bible)

Watch Out: Poetry Can Hijack the Heart via L. L. Barkat (an ode to the poetic form)

Working with (Those Dreaded) Editors via Florence Osmund (an excellent resource on how to choose an editor, the different types of editing, and working with an editor)

 

 

WEEKLY PRAYER: A Meditation for All Saints Day

A Prayer Meditation for All Saints Day by Safiyah Fosua:

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We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshiped you
Whether in brush arbors or cathedrals,
Weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses
Where your name was lifted and adored.

We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:
Manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,
Strong hands and those gnarled with age
Holy hands
Used as wave offerings across the land.

We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;
Whether hard-hatted or steel-booted,
Head ragged or aproned,
Blue-collared or three-piece-suited
They left their mark on the earth for you, for us, for our children to come.

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

(Source)

WEEKLY PRAYER

 

A Prayer Meditation for All Saints Day by Safiyah Fosua:

We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshiped you
Whether in brush arbors or cathedrals,
Weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses
Where your name was lifted and adored.

We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:
Manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,
Strong hands and those gnarled with age
Holy hands
Used as wave offerings across the land.

We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;
Whether hard-hatted or steel-booted,
Head ragged or aproned,
Blue-collared or three-piece-suited
They left their mark on the earth for you, for us, for our children to come.

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

Source