Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"The Veil is Thin"

"Watch closely today.  The veil is thin."   It was not a cryptic, coded note, but a word I immediately recognized as a reminder that today is All Saints Day.  Is it true that there are moments when those of us on earth are given a hint or glimpses of the glories of heaven?  Is it true that there are some places so saturated with the power of prayer that God is more likely to make Himself known within these earthly confines?  Is it true that there are times when it seems like we do indeed have some kind of mysterious communion with those saints in glory even though we still abide here in this world?  Is it true that glimpses of glory are only a breath away?
There is a part of me which shouts "yes" to each of these questions.  And, more than any other day of celebration on the church calendar, All Saints Day brings me to such a conclusion.  Over the years I have come to experience worship on All Saints Sunday as one of the more powerful Sundays of the year.  Always, we would call the names of those who had departed our earthly fellowship in the past year to become a part of that great cloud of heavenly witnesses and then gather around the Table for the holy meal.  In those moments it was like we were at one end a table that was of this earth, but which also faded away at the other end where the saints gathered.  Connected is what I always experienced on those Sundays when it seemed more than ever that the veil was thin.

I first thought about heaven when I was seven.  Some men in uniform came to our home to tell my family that my father would not be coming home.  With us in the morning, he was gone to the heavenly place in the evening.  The two places are not that far away.  I love the way All Saints Day encourages me to call the names of the saints.  I love the way it causes me to remember with thanksgiving the eternal provision of God.  I love the way it gives me a hope that cannot be quenched.

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