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It is All Hallow’s Eve and my mind prepares for All Saint’s Day, as it should, by turning to the departed saints. The annual time to consider those who have gone before leaves me with an unusual collection of memories. This Christian “New Year's Eve” is peopled with thoughts of friends and loved ones and their part in my own spiritual heritage and pilgrimage. Thoughts of those from our own fellowship give way as others crowd in, a parade of faces that stretches back across half a century to my earliest recollection of death’s reality and finality. I think of one of my father’s greatest gifts as a pastor—his special ability to comfort those who mourn, and turn their eyes to God’s promise that just as the grave yawns to receive a loved one’s mortal remains, so it also opens into life eternal.


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