By Gina Teeple
Director of Development and Ministry Relations
As the air turns chilly each autumn, just before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, a song begins to play in my head and my heart:
For all the saints who from their labors rest, who Thee by faith before the world confessed; Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest. Alleluia, Alleluia!
All Saints’ Day took on new meaning for me after my mother died 10 years ago. Like so many mothers and daughters, our relationship vacillated between intense interdependence and fierce independence. I always needed her, but so often I was striving to get away from her.
I wish I could tell you my mother was perfect, or even close to it, but the truth is my mother was a complicated woman who lived a difficult life. She did not always make the best choices (who does?), and the consequences of those choices impacted every aspect of her life on earth. Nevertheless, her hope was always in the Lord.
Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might; Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight; Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light. Alleluia, Alleluia!
My mother’s faith was truly the foundation of her life and being. She prayed often, and she didn’t just read her Bible every day—she studied it and shared it with anyone who would listen. Often that was me. No matter what happened in our lives or between the two of us, she always pointed me back to the truth of Scripture.
The impact that this continues to have on me cannot be overstated. Even though life is difficult, and I do not always make the best choices (again, who does?), my hope is always in the Lord!
When I think of the legacy of faith my mother left me, the Apostle Paul’s words come to mind: “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, ESV)
The Gospel I share with others is the Gospel she shared with me. I am her letter of recommendation, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, to be known and read by all. To God be the glory!
O blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Can you think of someone whose faith has shaped your own? How?
What are some ways you can share your faith with others?
Are there hymns that remind you of your loved ones?