For all the saints and souls…

We’ve reached the time in the liturgical year when all the feasts and commemorations pile in at break-neck speed. This Sunday, we not only celebrate the festival of All Saints’ (in an all age eucharist, 10am) but we also commemorate the departed (choral evensong, 6.30pm) at All Souls’. So, we celebrate the company of earth and heaven for those who are living, and those who have lived the Christ-life.

As we come to the end of the Trinity Season and its summer-long, green growing Sundays and autumnal-falling Sundays, we now enter the Kingdom Season. Red is the colour used to reflect this season. November becomes the month in which red symbolises the poppies of remembrance upon the battlefields of the western front, the presence of the Holy Spirit in purity and fire, the sacrifice of Christ the King on the cross of Calvary. The Kingdom Season, starting with All Saints’, encourages us to seek out the kingdom on earth as well as heaven.

The Kingdom Season is a time of forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. I would suggest that the world needs these virtues at this time. It is our vocation to seek hope where there seems little but anxiety and despair. I am most encouraged by the way in which God washes up saints in the flotsam and jetsam of life. Flotsam comes from the French word meaning to float and jetsam is the abbreviation of jettison. These words coupled together describe the debris (including saints and sinners) thrown overboard by distressed crews in danger of capsizing and dying.

I wonder if we are at a particular kingdom-making epoch? A season in which humanity continues to throw overboard its treasure and its rubbish in order to desperately keep the ship afloat? In such chaotic times we value little else than our own precious existence with little thought to others. Kingdom building is the opposite of these acts of vandalism. Kingdom building seeks to collect and renew the debris, it attempts to rescue the drowning saint and sinner, it aspires to bring all that has been discarded and bring it back onto the boat (the Church… the world).

Building the kingdom might not look or sound very conventional!

And the kingdom building starts with you and me!

Learn more about the Kingdom of God and the company of earth and heaven this Sunday at St Michael & All Angels, Summertown, 8am, 10am and 6.30pm.

No matter where you are on the journey of faith, you are always welcome at St Michael & All Angels! See what’s going on by clicking here which will transport you to our website.

Author: Gavin Knight

The Revd Gavin Knight has been the Vicar of St Michael & All Angels, Summertown in the Oxford Diocese since September 2011. After serving his title at St Alphege, Solihull, Gavin became parish priest of St Andrew's Fulham Fields in London. He moved to Wales in 2005 becoming Chaplain to Monmouth School. He is married to Jo, a clinical psychologist, and they have three sons.