All Saints Day 2015

Our family begins the countdown in the beginning of October.   How many more days until November 1st?

This tradition began many, many years ago in our first pastorate.  My friend, AnnMarie (who with her husband attended the church we pastored) asked if we would want to get together to celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st.

I had actually not ever heard of celebrating All Saints Day.


Over the years I have found that the word “saints” is from the Greek word, “hagios” which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.”   Believe it or not, “saints” is mentioned in the Bible 67 times, and all but one time it is used in plural to refer to “a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom.”

Some examples of saints being mentioned in the Bible are: Acts 9:13 and 32, Acts 26:10,  Philippians 4:21, Romans 16:2, Ephesians 4:12 and Ephesians 5:3.

When studying the word “saints” it is easy to see that it refers to the body of Christ, Christians, the church.

So that November 1st, some twenty-ish years ago we gathered together in AnnMarie and Jerry’s garage to honor the saints who served as missionaries once upon a time and then pray for the missionaries serving around the world.  Little did I know that one day we would be praying for our own Emma-the-missionary who was just a wee little one at the time.

Our family tradition was born that day in Virginia.  We chose when we were married to not do anything on the last day of October, so eventually we began our All Saints Day on the Eve of All Saints Day.  For instance, last night we gathered around the fire pit, telling missionary stories and talking about the underground church, those persecuted for Christ, missionaries we know and missionaries we have read about.  It was a beautiful time.

Early this morning we began with a time of prayer for missionaries we know serving around the world.  Of course, there are some that are very special to us:  Emma and Josh; Robert M.; David and Abby; Natali; Jess and Colin; Denie H. and her husband; Kim A.; Meredith T. and Rhyan.  Name after name mentioned before God’s great throne of grace.

These precious friends dedicated to the people God’s called them to, serving sacrificially far from family and friends.  Often missing big events going on at home because they’ve set their hand to the plow and without looking back have dug in, serving diligently, tirelessly and joyfully.

We prayed today that each of these, as well as the Underground Pastors and those imprisoned for their faith feel the very real presence of Almighty God as He washes them anew with His liquid love, His powerful protection and His mighty provision.

Pray in the spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition.  To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.  

Ephesians 6:18 bsb


One thought on “All Saints Day 2015

  1. Sounds like a wonderful tradition!
    We, with our church, pray for persecuted Christians a lot, but on the 3rd Sunday in November (usually…depending on when Remembrance Sunday is set to be) we join with many other churches who set the day aside to remember to pray for the Persecuted Christians. We usually choose one of the countries on the top 50 in the World Watch list, and play a video about that country. It means we learn about another country and what it is like to be a believer there.
    In a way, it is like meeting family you didn’t know, but then finding out that they have been struggling and you didn’t know! and then you listen out to news and snippets throughout the year to see how prayer is answered or how much more you need to pray.
    We don’t have a specific day to pray for missionaries, but keep them in mind regularly, too. Maybe it would be a good thing to think about choosing a day to concentrate on their needs. (November turns out to be rather busy!)
    Sandy in the UK

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