I’m kind of glad that I didn’t live in Bible times.
I sure do look up to the heroes of our faith—Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Esther, and all the rest. But the biblical narrative does not hesitate to tell the stories of their terrible weaknesses as well as their triumphs.
Maybe that’s why I still hold these people in such high regard. God achieved great things through them, but they were just frail, sinful mortals like you and me. They lived and worked and suffered and overcame and then died, all the while waiting to see the magnificent revelation of the full might and presence of God. They lived and died in hope and in faith, sustained by the power of God’s Word. Only together with us will they experience the grand reunion.
The writer to Jewish Christians in the first century urged them to remember and imitate the saints of old: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39,40).
This All Saints’ Day take a moment to give thanks to God for the men and women of centuries past on whose shoulders we stand, people whose courage and steadfastness serve as examples and inspiration for us. Soon, soon, comes the grand reunion when we can thank them in person.