Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…

When I was a child, each Sunday we sang Malotte’s setting of the Lord’s Prayer, and I’m pretty sure that’s how I learned the words. Of course, I didn’t have a very clear idea of what “hallowed” meant, and even when I learned it meant “honored as holy” the concept wasn’t particularly clear. Still, the music had a reverent quality that gave me an inkling.

The idea of God’s holiness makes sense to me, but the idea of human saints has always seemed foreign. How can people be holy? I’m still not sure I have a grasp on that one, to tell the truth. But the doctrine of sanctification, strange as it is, speaks to me. The idea that somehow, beyond our actions or deserving, the Holy Spirit can work in us and make us more holy. Not holiness to sit on a shelf and look down on others, but a blessing that meets us in the muck just as readily as in the meadows of life and proclaims us loved and precious. A blessing not for its own sake but that allows us to be a blessing to others.

On this All Saints’ Day I’m remembering those who have been a blessing in my life who no longer walk the earth yet “journey still with us.” I read this blessing by Jan Richardson and love washed over me, remembering. May their memory be a blessing.

For Those Who Walked With Us

For those
who walked with us,
this is a prayer.

For those
who have gone ahead,
this is a blessing.

For those
who touched and tended us,
who lingered with us
while they lived,
this is a thanksgiving.

For those
who journey still with us
in the shadows of awareness,
in the crevices of memory,
in the landscape of our dreams,
this is a benediction.

© Jan L. Richardson


About Sarah

I serve with Presbyterian World Mission as liaison to the Andean region. This blog is a place to share stories, experiences, and observations, both my own and those of friends and colleagues and the occasional item of news.
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