Coming to this all hallows evening we hear the call to pay attention to the permeable fabric of time. It is a potent time in which those others who have lived before and will live after crowd with us onto the stage of our life. It is good to pay attention. We are put in perspective by the great crowd of witnesses that assemble. It is both humbling and comforting to welcome them.

Who might show up at the door of our life this evening, this sundown that ushers in All Saints? Perhaps one of the church fathers or the desert mothers, perhaps our great aunt with her arms full of washing fresh from the sunlit line, perhaps the child of our grand child, coming to us arms outstretched holding the quiet gift of the future.

Perhaps we will open a door to one we have yet to forgive or one we never knew had forgiven us.  Perhaps it will be someone we are now able to thank. Perhaps it will be to love.  All of us, great or glamorous, famous or little noticed are much the same size this evening. We are, as that hymn says, in the line I love so much, “small paper lanterns lighting the way”. That is enough.

I hope you open the door of your heart in these days to a bevy of small paper lanterns, a small bright cloud of witnesses and that you know yourself, one of them, lighting the way