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Traveling with God: Week of November 4, 2018

When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.

Traveling with God Week of: November 4, 2018
Devotion

If you've known me for than five minutes, then you probably know that my favorite holiday is Halloween. What you might not know, is that I also love the church holiday that comes the day after Halloween - All Saint's Day. 

All Saint's Day is a day to remember all those who have gone before us in the faith. Some people think that this day is only to celebrate those who have earned the official title of Saint - biblical characters, church forefathers, perhaps Mother Theresa. While those people are certainly worthy of celebration, this day is also to help us remember the ordinary saints. The grandmother who read to us from the Bible, our parents who took us to church every Sunday, the youth leader who gave us confidence, the pastor who prayed with us in the hospital. 

Sometimes this day can lead us to be sad, after all, we are thinking of those we have loved and lost. Many churches will light a candle for each person who has died in the previous year, as well as inviting us to think of those gone longer. The story of Lazarus shows us that even Jesus knows the pain of what it is to lose someone he loves, verse 35 tells us that Jesus wept. Even though Jesus has all the power of heaven and earth within him, his human side learned the pain of loss. 

Now granted, he brings Lazarus back to life, relieving his own grief and the grief of Mary, Martha and all those around him. We know that Jesus isn't going to raise all of our loved ones from the dead in our lifetime, yet because of him we do have hope and assurance that we will see them once again. Just as Lazarus was not lost to Mary and Martha forever, our saints will not be lost to us forever. We might have to wait a bit longer to see them, but one day we will. This week, take some time to name the saints in your life, and give God thanks for them. 

Prayer

We give thanks to you for all the saints who have gone before, who surround us now as a great cloud of witnesses. Help us to grieve only as those who do have hope in Jesus Christ, and to live as those who follow him each day. Amen.