My dad’s brother Pete is the Cannon family historian and occasionally he’ll send us some tidbit he dug up on the family. About a week ago, he sent us this treasure of a photograph of my Grandma Mary (right) and her sister Ruth (left) as they were in their twenties.
Seeing them as young adults feels like being transported into an entirely different world. I knew Grandma Mary as she was 40 years after this picture was taken. Keeping their memory alive is what these photos are all about, and I’m grateful for my uncle who has a passion for this history!
In so many ways, that is what All Saints Day is about as well. Yes, we celebrate them passing on to be with all the saints in heaven, but maybe more importantly, we keep their memories alive here on earth as well.
Grandma Mary has long since passed on to be with the saints in heaven, but my great Aunt Ruth is still living in Huntsville Alabama. My parents just went down to visit her last week and though she has some memory issues now, she can still spin a story and has many of those long-term memories locked in place.
My parents have made a point to take good care of her, which to me is a great reminder that we all ought to be remembering not only the saints who have passed (like my Grandma Mary), but those who are still with us (Like my Great Aunt Ruth)! How often do we neglect to celebrate those saints while they are still with us?
Sainthood (in the Lutheran tradition) isn’t just about those who have died, but those who are still living. All who are baptized are considered part of the one great family of God! God treasures Ruth, now in her 90s, just as in the photo (in her 20s), just as God treasured her as a newborn baby and will treasure her after she passes.
Let us give thanks to all the saints in our lives, living and dead, past and present that we can keep their memories alive in Christ. Amen.