"For All the Saints"
Day. Here's verse one:
For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
-William How (1823-1897)
Here's my paraphrase of that verse.
Notice that the praise is to Jesus for the lives of "all the saints":
O Jesus, praise be to your holy name - Alleluia! - for the
lives of men and women who have faithfully served your
people and confessed you as Lord before the world - even
when it was really hard. Alleluia!
Now picture this - an 86-year-old woman is brought to the front of the
sanctuary in an oxygen-equipped wheel chair. She knows that her days are
numbered, that the inoperable cancer is likely to end her life sooner rather
than later. A pastor mentions her many areas of loving ministry. She is
thanked and honored for a lifetime of faithful service as wife, and mother,
for a quarter century as leader of this church's prayer ministry and teacher
of the 5-year-old Sunday School class in which many of our children have come
to saving faith in Jesus. She has served faithfully. Our eyes are wet with
joyful tears. "For all the saints who from their labors rest . . . "
[Lord Jesus, thank you for the lives of parents, spouses, friends, priests,
ministers, Sunday School teachers, camp counselors, neighbors and the rest -
all your faithful servants who have obediently and lovingly passed on to us
the Good News of the Gospel. Amen!]
Have a great week,
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina