Today is All Saints.
All Saints is one of my favourite holidays in the church calendar (and not only because it’s my church’s feast of title, meaning we had a huge pot luck dinner after the service tonight). It is when we are really reminded of the community of believers that we are a part of, the family of Christ, spanning across centuries. ‘But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.’ (Luke 20.37-38) There are the ‘heroes’ of the faith, martyrs and missionaries of the distant past, but they are not ‘superheroes’ — they may be people to look up to, admire, but also remembering that they were — are — people, people who loved God and needed his help. It was not by their own strength, their own energy, their own faith that they led lives that caught the attention of the world, that earned them the posthumous title of ‘saint’. They, too, had to rely on God. But the saints are not limited to those found in various church calendars.
In his sermon tonight, Father Jonathan commented on the variety of circumstances saints have had, from the distant past to recent history. Some were active, others contemplative; some were reformers, some safeguarded tradition; and so on. Each and every one of us, once we have been claimed as one of Christ’s own, is called to a life of holiness, a life of sainthood. (I hope Jonathan puts his sermon on the website archive, because there was one particularly poignant passage that I wish to quote directly.) There is a path of sainthood for all of us, even with our individual idiosyncrasies, talents, weaknesses, and dreams. In keeping with the beloved temporal paradox found in Christian faith: we are saints, we are all called to become saints.
This comes at a time when I have been praying recently that I would not learn to trust God more, but that I would just go ahead and trust him. To stop ‘learning’ and ‘do’. Time for the practical application. Now, what does that look like? I am finding out.
Word count: 2413.*
* Throughout the month of November I will include the current word count of my NaNoWriMo novel at the end of the post.