There are plenty of reminders in my internet referring to All Saints Day, a part of the church year remembered on November 1 and the first Sunday in November.
One feature of those reminders that I like is the process of consciously and deliberately remembering Christian mentors and friends who are no longer physically present but have passed from that which some call the church militant to the church eternal.
Speaking to a group in an aged residential home yesterday I reflected on the blessing of being raised by Christian parents, of having had Christians speak the Gospel into our lives as we were born again, of living in Christian community.
One facet of older life is that it can become a more solitary existence and diminish our sense of how the people of God who went before us, who were alongside us, and who follow us are a vital part of our lives.
It is good to think about what we have received, what we have shared, what we are leaving behind.
It is good to think about finishing well.
There may have been times when older Christians spoke into our lives words that we may have taken for granted, or which even sounded sentimental or trite:
“God is faithful.”
“The Lord is good, trust always in Him.”
“God’s grace was sufficient for me and it will be for you too.” 
As I spoke to those folk yesterday I mentioned that their personal experience of the passing of the years, the accrual of losses, the aches and pains of physical decay, the solitary nature of life; that all of these demonstrate that the testimony they’d heard from aged lips in many cases was anything but easy or sentimental.
It’s a tremendous investment made with loving care in the lives of others.
Having that spiritual and physical experience of what the good testimony of our older forebears involved increases our admiration for them, grows our thanks to God for the abundant provision of his grace toward his people, and challenges us to make sure we’re leaving a similar testimony of faith behind.
We know it’s an investment worth making, and we know it’s an investment that can be made.

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