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SURROUNDED

All Hallows, Halloween, All Saints, All Souls, leaves falling, temperatures dropping, Fall slides towards winter, and nature seems to die. It is perhaps natural (of nature) that this is the season when Christians concentrate on the Church Invisible, that Cloud of Witnesses, of which the Epistle to the Hebrews refers.
Around us, beside us, within us is that other world, inhabited by those we have the gall to call “dead”, forgetting the words of Jesus that if we believe in him we shall never die.
Perhaps it is easier to think of ghosts and things that go bump in the night, and get a kick about appointing those whom we despise to the committee which advises our father below. We are told by Jesus not to do this. Rather we are called to rejoice that love never fails, and that we remain intimately linked to those whom we love and see no more, and to those great heroes of faith who have been lights in their time and continue to inspire and enlighten us day by day.
Yet like all intermediaries, they are not objects of devotion in and for themselves, Rather they bid us to look to Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith.”  The saints remind us of what a transformed life looks like. They remind us that we too are called to be changed, to become Christlike.  So we plead that Jesus will change us, and we ask the saints and faithful departed, yes even our loved one, now made perfect, to guide us and pray for us and perhaps we ask our loved one to suggest suitable areas of renovation!

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