“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” – Hebrews 12:1

Written by Rev. Brandon Durán

I need a minute with All Saints’ Day.  I need a little bit of time to let it soak in.  There are so many holy days, feast days, and days of remembrance in the Christian faith that it can be easy for them to become a blur.  All Saints’ Day is more than just another day.

On this day, we let our hearts consider that every achievement, doubt, and insight we experience in the faith is shared.  There are saints who have wrestled with God, struggled to understand, and embraced a new calling.  There is no temptation that seizes us that is not common to humanity.  One of the most pervasive lies across the human experience is that we are alone, singled out, and peculiar in our difficulties.  Oddly enough, the very fact that we think we are unique in our challenges is one of the most unifying realities we share.

All Saints’ Day says there is wisdom to be found in those that have gone before us and in those who walk beside us.  All Saints’ Day says we are included.  It is not Some Saints Day, or Certain Saints Day, it is intentionally, “ALL.”  The saints that surround us, past and present, are not saying, “Be better so you can join us,” they are saying, “You’re home, you’re safe, you’re in the right place.”  It is the support of the community that gives us the strength to “throw off the sin that so easily entangles.”  The “sin that entangles” is not some simple guilty pleasure or moral failing.  It is insecurity that tries to diminish the divine proclamation that we are created in the image of God.  It is the anxiety that says only through control can we find joy.  It is the bitterness that festers from an untreated wound of the soul.  These sins are not cast aside by the crowd yelling, “Try harder… do better.”  These sins are silenced when we hear the voice of God in community saying, “You were created by love and for love, live in the light of that love.”

Friend, you are surrounded by such a “great cloud of witnesses.”  Friend, you are a part of that “great cloud” speaking the voice of love to others.