After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number … crying with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God' … (Revelation 7: 9,10)
When All Saints Day arrives in the Christian calendar, that supposed company seems like a holy race apart. Could I ever aspire to be among such ‘saints’?
Come with me to the very gates of heaven. They’re so high, you can’t see over them – but we can hear the singing! Why, they seem to be singing that great song of worship, composed by Augustine for his baptism – when he was a new convert to the Faith, many centuries ago! “We praise thee O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord!”
So remarkable are its words of ringing Christian testimony, that it found a place in the old English Prayer Book. When you hear it on YouTube – sung by the choir of Trinity College Cambridge as Stanford’s Te Deum in B Flat, why - it’s enough to give you goose pimples….
But now – as I hear it from over the walls of heaven – the music is incredible!
“Who IS that, singing in there?” I ask. By way of reply, a phrase from the Te Deum comes drifting over the wall. ‘The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee!’ At that point I go pale. Apostles, eh? I’m hardly in that category!
Another burst of heavenly music. Unbelievable singing! “And who is THAT?” I shout. Over it comes: ‘The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee!’ My tummy does a somersault. Oh no – not the prophets; they’re among the Seven-Star Saints; this is terrible. Poor, poor me!
Now the walls are literally vibrating with sound. Tremblingly I ask, “Who’s singing now?” Over the wall lobs the reply: “The noble army of martyrs praise thee!” Martyrs…. well, they’re the tops. “Pam, get me out of this place; take me away for a cup of coffee!”
But just as I’m turning away, I hear a last phrase of the Te Deum. Hey - what was that? – “Thou didst open the Kingdom - the Kingdom of heaven – to ALL believers!”
Feel better? I do! I may not count myself as an advanced believer in Jesus Christ, but I AM a believer! I too am among ‘All Saints’ after all! I CAN sing Augustine’s testimony song!