For All the Saints

Thursday, November 1 is traditionally known as All Saints Day in many Christian traditions in the west.  It is on this day that Christians remember and celebrate the lives of those who have gone before them.  This is an important day in many Christian communities around the world marked by services of worship and celebratory events.  This holy day gives people an opportunity to consider the lives and the faith of those who have had a historic impact on the world as well as those with whom they have been honored to have a personal relationship.  

Many young people today lack a sense of being rooted in the past.  In our world of hurry to the next big thing and scamper to the next wonderful idea, it is hard to give that which has gone before a second thought. There just isn't time.  This can increase the feeling of isolation and disconnect from anything that has meaning.  Being disconnected from the past can lead to discouragement about the present and disillusionment about the future. If the only thing that is important is right here and right now, then is what I am doing, discovering, desiring, becoming now worth anything at all?

All Saints Day is a great opportunity to help connect yourself and your teen to the past.  Take some time during the next couple of days to reflect on the lives of those who have gone before who have made an impact on your life.  
Why are these saints so important to you?  
What did they teach you?  
How has their life and witness helped to shape your own?

Encourage your teens to do the same.  Allow them to consider those who are living who serve as saints and examples to them.  Then, take some time to share with one another about the people who made your lists.

Possible family activity:
1 - Grab a stack of 3X5 note cards before dinner or breakfast.  
2 - Have each family member take a few.  
3 - On one side, have each person write the name of someone who fills the role of saint (living or dead) in their life.  
4 - On the opposite side of the card, make a list of words or phrases that flesh out the reasons why this person's life and faith are important to you.  
5 - Trade cards.
6 - Read the reasons out loud, followed by the name of the individual.

Have fun reading and learning about one another through the lives of these saints.

"For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia, Alleluia!" (Text: William W. How, 1823-1897; Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958)


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