On November 1st, Christians around the world join in celebrating All Saints Day. Among the saints in heaven are our loved ones who have died in the faith and now share in the joys of heaven. The recommended Epistle reading for All Saints day comes from Revelation 7 and includes these words: “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:14-17 NIV)
This beautiful picture of the saints before the throne brings us comfort as we remember our loved ones who have passed before us and strengthens our hope in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. On the last Thursday of November we celebrate Thanksgiving Day which provides us with the opportunity to pause and thank our God for his mercy which endures forever and his providing of so many spiritual and physical blessings day after day.
How fitting it is to remember the example, instruction and encouragement of those saints who have been special blessings to us. Many of us learned about the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Savior at the knees of Christian parents. Many of us have also learned from them what it is like to live as God’s children who receive his gifts with thanksgiving. We thank God for those who have been teachers and examples of good stewardship. It is so true
that only the Holy Spirit can change us from selfish, self-centered sinners into faithful stewards of all that God has given to us. But the example of good stewardship that we learned from our parents and other important people in our lives is a great blessing.
One day we will join the saints in heaven but until then God empowers us to be teachers, models and examples of good stewardship for our children and other people who are special to us. “Christian stewardship really is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God’s family, the church, in managing all of life and life’s resources for his purposes.”
One of our common table prayers contains these words: “Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest and may these gifts to us be blessed.” The godly ladies who are part of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) have added these great stewardship thoughts to this prayer: “And may there be a goodly share on every table everywhere and may we help to put it there.”
May God bless us as his stewards so that our management of all of life and life’s resources (money, time, talents, relationships, etc.) honors Him, blesses our neighbors and serves as an example and encouragement to those around us.