Editorial: Your Mountain – Martin Stewart

It’s All Saints this week for those who observe such things.
I recognise that we’ve become more divided these days around liturgical rhythms – some are more traditional some are less traditional.  As a young person I have no recollection of All Saints being observed at all.
I do like the opportunity All Saints gives us to be reminded of a few things…

1. We are part of a long story of the saints marching – nothing we do in church is separated from what has gone before us and what will yet be in Christ.  We are saved from thinking it is all about us!

2. We are not at the centre of the universe – we are part of God’s very wide engagement with life, the universe, and everything.  We are saved from thinking that the world revolves around us!

3. In the stories of those before us are many treasures – we are ‘storied’ before our story begins, as are those who follow on from us.

In acknowledging All Saints, even if for just a little moment in the service this Sunday, we have the opportunity to remember those who shaped our particular church communities – the pioneers and the many workers,
along with the people of the land where our church community began,
along with the people who brought the gospel to this part of the world,
along with the people who held the light in little or big ways through the ages,
along with those first apostles who believed,
along with the ones who looked for and longed for the Christ,
along with those who held the promises made to Abraham and Sarah,
along with those who first found their voices and heard God’s voice giving form to their existence.
The package is rather large isn’t it!

For me, this week began with views of Mt Manaia (my mountain on the Whangarei Heads) and Hatea, my river (both pictured). I lived in Whangarei as a child and visited for four days this week with my mother and two older siblings.  Along the way, on All Hallows Day, our grandson Finn was born in Wellington.  And then I came home to be where my home is and back to work.

That’s sort of the journey of All Saints.  Remembering where you have come from, seeing that there is somewhere you are going, and then landing back to where you get to do your living.  All in gratitude!