In a hotly contested race for the United States Senate, supporters of a particular candidate found support from some new voters – who just happened to be dead. The candidate and a handful of campaign aides were out one night, fraudulently registering voters in a cemetery, when one worker came upon a certain tombstone, the letters had been worn down over the decades and moss had grown up over the marker making it impossible to read. Skipping it to move on, he was chastised by the leader of the expedition: “No, no, go back and register that person. He has as much right to vote as anybody in this cemetery.”
We Christians oddly believe that person may have been right. That the dead have as much right to vote as the living, or perhaps more. Ridiculous as our belief may seem to the world, we believe that they have come into their true citizenship, only after death.
On November 1st, All Saints Day the Church remembers and honors all the saints, known and unknown, living and the dead. This is kind of like the church’s version of Veterans Day or Presidents Day, where many people are honored on one day.
The whole concept of All Saints is tied in with this idea of the Communion of Saints. This is the belief that all of God’s people, in heaven and on earth, are connected through a common communion. In other words, we believe that the saints who now live eternally with God are just as alive as you and I, and are constantly interceding on our behalf, kind of like a heavenly cheering section, encouraging us on to do good works.
We don’t believe that the saints are divine, however, or omnipresent or omniscient. But, because of our tight-knit communion with and through Jesus Christ, our prayers are joined with this heavenly community of Christians.
Yours in Christ,