The bright colours of the summer have faded to be replaced with the burnt hues of Autumn. The nights are drawing in, the wind becoming chillier and the long, dark months of winter are approaching. We look at the bountiful food provided by our farmers and our fields and we give thanks to God for the seasons which allow the food to grow.
In this season, we also celebrate the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. As Methodists we are not all that good at keeping pace with the festivals of the liturgical year. This is a shame as it gives us opportunity to pause for thought and reflect on the lives of those who have gone before us. All Saints allows us to think about the lives of great Christians and the impact that they have had on the world. Of course, our reflections on the ‘Saints’ do not have to be as narrow as only people with a ‘St’ in front of their name! In some traditions people like John Wesley and Phoebe (a deacon mentioned by St Paul in Romans 16) are remembered. Of course St Paul also refers to whole communities of Christians as ‘saints’. All Souls day gives us a moment to remember all people who have died before us. Maybe they have died recently and maybe a long time ago. It can be a joy to think back and relive the memories of their life, and those happy thoughts can provide us with hope for the future. This is a time for acknowledging the passing of years and lives and to give thanks for both.