Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
4he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
3When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." 35Jesus began to weep.
The sanctuary is already dressed in white for All Saints Day - the white and gold paraments draped over the altar, the colors of baptisms, of funerals, of Easter and Christmas and Epiphany. White and gold: the colors of light and life in the church. These are the colors of life and new life, of birth and rebirth, of reconciliation and resurrection.
The sanctuary is clean and bright, dressed up in white and gold linens, but All Saints Day is not (and could not) be about resurrection and glory if we did not take seriously the weight of death and grief in our midst. We read names of those we love who have passed away, and light candles to their memory. We remember our baptisms and our mortality. And we weep.
We weep for what we have lost and suffered, we weep for death, we weep for pain and loneliness and hopelessness. We weep at Jesus' feet for all of the dark things that plague us. And there is weeping in heaven to match our weeping on earth. But these tears will be wiped from our eyes, by the God who loves us and renews us and promises us life.
Through our tears, we see clearly the white and gold that surround us - the glory of our God and the peace of knowing that death itself will pass away.