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Faith: Stepping into the river of life

One of my favorite days in the church year is All Saints Sunday. Always the first Sunday in November, it is a time to pause and remember those who have gone before us.

We light candles in remembrance of these saints in our lives. During worship, the names of those from our congregation who have died in the past year are read. As each name is read, a candle is lit. As the candles flicker, the flames seem to dance; it is powerful to watch.

This year as I watched the candles being lit, the image of a river came to mind. One of the wonders of rivers is that they slowly move and wind their way from one place to another. As each river flows, God's creation becomes a part of its current.

Revelation 22:1-2 refers to "the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb."

We also become a part of the current of the river of life.

Congregants were also invited to come forward and light a candle in remembrance of someone. As each person walked up to light a candle, each stepped into the river of life, along with the body of Christ, in communion of the saints.

We are all a part of God's body in the world. Each of us is called to be a voice of love, grace, mercy and peace each day. As our voices are heard, we are surrounded by the great cloud of witness - the saints - those who have reflected God's love and peace in our lives.

As we step into the river of life, we are reminded of the hope and promise of the great feast that we will share with God and all the saints.

As the light of candles danced during worship, I could not help but think that it was the dance of God's love and comfort in our lives. God's light of love dances in our lives as we flow along the river of life. It dances with us during our mountain top moments, our valley moments and our ordinary moments too. It is an assurance that God will walk with us and be with us always.

In this dance, we are surrounded by the saints, and we live in the hope of the promise that God is with us in our living, dying and forevermore.

In the flow of the river of life, surrounded by God's light of love, we consider who has been a saint in your life - a reflection of God's love. We also consider how we are called to be saints ourselves, reflections of God's love.