Tomorrow we are transferring to Sunday the feast of All Saints, and I am also transferring the lesser feast of All Souls. I think I read somewhere that the ancient church blended these two feasts in one day...but regardless, I am unable to get folks to come out for anything but a Sunday morning, so into one they are.
My reflection for this Sunday will use an image of a jigsaw puzzle, beginning with how much my family and I enjoy putting them together. Recently my cottage mates at the IMAGINE conference in Kanuga put together a puzzle. This puzzle was a picture of a North Carolina covered bridge, very pretty. But it really seemed that many of the pieces of the puzzle were missing, we almost gave up on it. Over time, and with diligence we put found all the pieces, many were very odd in shape, not at all what the empty space would lend you to think it looked like.
Life is like a jigsaw puzzle: sometimes feeling like a jumbled pile of pieces that seem unrelated and disconnected. Putting the pieces together, over time takes diligence and work and desire. Often we only understand the full meaning of our lives as they are relate to the lives of those who have gone before us and how they become connected to the lives that come after us (our children, grandchildren...).
On All Saints' we traditionally baptize new members of the community, merging the past with the present and with the future. If we have no one to baptize we still renew our baptismal covenant, reminding ourselves of that connection, that web of life, the runs through out all time. The gospel reading for All Saints' is from Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, the beatitudes. So, I will connect the image of the puzzle of life, connected to the past, present, future, with the image of all the ways we are blessed, a time to be thankful for the gift of life.