I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers…Ephesians 1:15-16
My sojourn in Louisiana makes me want to begin by asking, Who dat?
Yesterday, we celebrated our annual remembrance of All Saints in worship. In the Presbyterian tradition, we often celebrate it on the first Sunday in November – though technically the official day is November 1st.
[Never forget that Halloween comes from the name for All Saints day – “All Hallows Eve” – but I digress…]
For our Roman Catholic brethren, All Saints is an opportunity to remember all those members of Christ’s family who have achieved special recognition for miracles and good works.
For us in Protestant circles, we have a little different take on the topic.
Since many of us do not believe in “sainthood” in the traditional sense, we look to a more ancient view. Like our ancient Jewish brethren who began the move toward the “priesthood of all believers” – where everyone is equal before God – we believe that saints are those individuals who are members of Christ’s family.
So the saints are you. And me. And all those who have gone before. And everyone who has yet to arrive.
We are not saints by our own power, but by God’s gracious adoption in God’s legacy. It is not ours by right. It is ours by gift.
On All Saints it is of the utmost importance that we remember that we are no higher, nor lower than any other member of God’s family. We are all equal. We are all important.
The next time we find ourselves thinking otherwise about anyone, draw your memory back to the candles we lit yestermorn and see how, though they may burn differently, all are in essence the same.
You are a beloved part of God’s family. Now go and show that love to all the saints you can find.
Blessings, Pastor Janie