"After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the lamb!'"
Traditionally, the day after Halloween (All Hallow's Eve) is All Saints' Day. And the day after that is All Souls' Day. In the United Methodist Church, we observe the first Sunday in November as All Saints' Sunday. This is when we remember those from among our church 'ohana' (family) who have died in the past year. (Note: All Souls' Day remembers anyone who has died in the past year, even if they weren't Christians) It's a simple, but powerful way to remember and honor the lives who have gone on to be with the Lord.
At Aiea UMC, besides singing the classic hymn, 'For All The Saints,' we also have a slideshow of photos of those who have died. Each year I appreciate seeing the faces of our church members (and a few 'extended family') once again. This year, my mom's picture was shown. More than sadness, I felt a sense of love & pride. Sort of like, "Job well done, Mom!" My mom was, indeed, one of the saints... in the best sense of the word. Often we think "saint" = "perfect person." No. All of us who love the Lord are saints. It's a name of honor, not a result of a lifestyle. We're honored to be called Saints of the Lord. That was my mom. Praise God for her, and the MANY OTHERS who now join the multitude robed in white gathered around the throne in heaven.