"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1,2
As the announcement with photos has it later in this issue, Saint John is looking ahead to red! Beginning with the observance of the day of St. Mark, Evangelist the last weekend in April, both the 23rd and 24th, we will be displaying a new set of red paraments to cover our altar and pulpit!
The red of our paraments might call to mind the faith poured out of the lives of saints of God, who in many cases laid down their lives for Jesus Christ. The stories of these saints of our Savior might inspire our lives of faith. The Preface prayer for the day of All Saints reminds us that our God has surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses, so that we might rejoice in their fellowship, and run with endurance the race that is set before us; and, together with them, receive the crown of glory that never fades away!
We observed the day of St. John, Apostle, and Evangelist just a couple of years ago. Last year we observed the day of the Ascension of our Lord forty days after Easter! There are many such festival days, Apostles’ days, and other commemorations in the historic church year. When it comes to what we call the Sanctoral Cycle, or the stories of lives of God’s saints, we are given to learn from the faith of those gone to glory. We might also learn from their mistakes! Such a cycle of days in the church year also broadens our horizons a bit. During these days we receive other Bible readings and also are reminded through these lives of faith of our own purpose in this world! We recognize that we belong to something greater than we are, the Church universal!
These kinds of festival services will be held as announced. Keep an eye on our church calendar! As we look ahead to red, we recall that we are surrounded by the witness and inspired by the faith of these saints of our Savior. So as saints ourselves we lay aside our sin, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith!