All Saints Sunday

Rev. Cliff Warner

Dear Christ Church,

Dr. Gordon Fee, one of the saints whose image hangs on a wall in my mind and memory, died last week. Dr. Fee was a world-class New Testament scholar, and one of my professors at Regent College. He and his wife Maudine were also our (Christine’s and my) small group leaders, and I worked for him for two years as his Teaching Assistant. He is for me an icon of discipleship that integrates the head and the heart. He combined scholarly precision, depth, and skill that won the global admiration of his peers, on the one hand, with white-hot passion for the triune God on the other. He was a preacher in the classroom and a teacher in the pulpit. He embodied what it means to love God with our minds, but to never reduce our faith to head knowledge; he loved Jesus wholeheartedly until his death (and new life) on October 25, 2022.

Who in your memory, what person, serves as an exemplary image of the Christian life, an image of something true, good, or beautiful? This Sunday is All Saints Sunday, when we remember both those saints of God known to us and the company of saints throughout the centuries, from the little known to the well known. When we observe All Saints Day, we say “thank you” for their witness and example; we are reminded that we are not the first pilgrims on this path and that they have left signposts and pathways; we consciously join their chorus in worship, adding our voice to the communion of saints.

Every Sunday our Eucharistic liturgy reminds us that we, bound by this particular time and place, nevertheless “[join] our voices with Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven, who forever sing…to proclaim the glory of [his] Name.”

During the past year we have held services for the following parishioners: Becky Zeeck, Jonathan Blanchard and David Hernandez. In remembrance of these parishioners we praise God, “For in the multitude of your saints you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses, that we might rejoice in their fellowship, and run with endurance the race that is set before us; and, together with them, receive the crown of glory that never fades away.”

Peace,
Cliff+