Remembering the Saints in Your Life


By Emily Capes

“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. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:1-3

EscrituraOn a recent Sunday (November 2) my church observed All Saints Sunday. We took a few minutes to remember the people who have passed away in the past year by speaking their names and ringing a bell for each person. We were also invited to come forward to the altar and light a candle to remember anyone that is a saint in our lives. It is one of my favorite Sundays, because it invites me to remember.

Our pastor shared a story during his sermon about Rev. Fred Rogers, the gentleman who hosted the Mr. Rogers TV show. He was also ordained as a Presbyterian Minister. Mr. Rogers was invited to speak on many different occasions to people who have accomplished a lot in their lives – he spoke at the White House as well as at college commencements. During his talks, Fred Rogers often gave people a minute to write down names of people who helped them become who they are today. It allowed people to remember who went out of their way to sacrifice, support and encourage them over the years.

After he told the story of Mr. Rogers, our Pastor invited us to remember as well. He gave us two minutes to write down as many people, dead or alive, who impacted our lives and helped us become who we are today. I started my list with the people who have passed away already. As I wrote down both of my grandmothers, one of my swim instructors, members of the church I served in another part of the country, I teared up a little remembering the words, the touch or the actions that let me know just how loved I am.

Then I started listing the people who are alive and have impacted, or are still impacting me. I didn’t have enough time to finish the list. The list is next to me as I am writing this, and I am blown away at the people who are on this list. Friends, ministers, family, running partners, class members, adults who took Disciple Bible Study with me, people I no longer talk to now, my fiancé and all of the youth that allow me to walk with them, even just a little.

I am going to be married in less than two months. I have been blown away by how the preparation for a wedding is completely a community process. So many friends have surrounded my fiancé and me; and even people we don’t know are offering to support us in ways we didn’t even know we needed! It is completely humbling and gloriously beautiful.

Have you stopped to think about the saints who go before you? Take two minutes.

No really. Go find a piece of paper and a pen. And now take two minutes to write down as many people you can remember who have helped you to end up where you are today.

Give thanks for them.