The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)
I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. (Psalm 23:6)
Created in the 1940s, Candy Land still ranks as one of the most popular children’s games in the United States. The goal of the game is to make it to the end of a winding route and reach King Kandy—but the path is always unpredictable. When you pick a card, you might have to jump ahead or go all the way back to the beginning. Or you might get stuck in Molasses Swamp, where you have to stay until the right card turns up. The randomness of the cards adds to the adventure: you can be very close to the end, but you still have to draw just the right card in order to reach your destination.
It seems odd that kids would enjoy a board game that has such an unpredictable cycle of joy and disappointment. Perhaps the reason is that the reward of reaching King Kandy is worth all the ups and downs of the journey.
As we celebrate All Souls Day today, this sense of anticipating a great reward despite unforeseeable pitfalls is especially appropriate. Most of us have the experience of life cycling back and forth between being stuck in the Molasses Swamp and getting the exact card that we need to move us forward in joy and eager expectation.
Sometimes, as we contemplate our path, we might wonder if life isn’t just as random as a shuffled pack of cards. But our faith tells us that there is more to it than that. Jesus, our Redeemer, is walking the path with us. He never promised a clear, unobstructed road, but he did promise to be with us, even to the end of the earth (Matthew 28:20). All the faithful who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith, tell us that God is committed to bringing us into his heavenly home. There will be surprises along the way—some sweet and others not so sweet—but at every twist and turn, we will find Jesus waiting for us, ready to shower us with his grace.
“Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness! Jesus, I trust that you will bring me home to be with you.”~WAU