All Saints Sunday

Oh when the saints
Go marching in
Oh when the Saints go marching in
Oh Lord, I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in.

You realize, of course, that this ol’ Gospel tune has connections that run deeper than a New Orleans funeral. It’s an American song, usually classified as a Jazz piece, played all over by all kinds of bands for all kinds of reasons. It is a fight song, a happy song, a party song. There’s a reason people like it. It’s just fun.

This morning at Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church, the SAU Jazz Band played When The Saints Go Marching In. They did more than just play the song. To use the musical idiom, they really “played it up” in our services. We put the tune into the original context, with the aim of redeeming it. Here’s how it went:

  • Today (Sunday, November 6) is All Saints Sunday. All Saints Day always falls on November 1, and this is the closest Sunday following.
  • All Saints Day has several different flavors across Church history. In our tradition, we recognize it as a day to remember those who’ve gone before, following Christ faithfully to the end. Today is a day of celebrating God’s glorification in lives given and lost for the sake of the Gospel.
  • What we don’t do is worship or venerate Saints, like St. Peter, St. Paul, etc. We expand it to recognize all people who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, therefore, it’s a day to celebrate new life and to worship the Lord in response.
  • We then looked at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which talks about those who are asleep, and that they’ll be the first ones to be ushered into Heaven when Christ returns.
  • We will all, as God’s Saints, proceed to Heaven to be with the Lord. This gives us great hope!
  • What’s happening in Heaven? That scene is described in Revelation 7:9-17, which was then read aloud.
  • After that, the Spring Arbor University Jazz Band played Saints Alive!. We celebrated God’s grace!

    Happy All Saints Sunday! Thank the Lord — for what He has done through us and through those who’ve gone before. For more on those who’ve gone before, see Hebrews 11. You’ll be challenged!

    About radamdavidson

    When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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    1 Response to All Saints Sunday

    1. Thanks for this post Adam. I am thoroughly enjoying how SAFMC is noting the church calendar and drawing the ancient church as well as other traditions into the consciousness of our people. Today’s service was a rich blessing in every way. Thank you for the part you played in it.

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