On today’s customary train-spotting round trip, Lexi and I shared lament that 1) there was no train to see and 2) it is snowing. Lexi isn’t too much of a fan of cold and snow. Like so many of us in our grumpy adult years, she finds that winter in general offers a plethora of inconvenience for the sake of the picturesque. If you want nice pictures, try googling “snowy tundra” from your wi-fi’d tablet on a beach in Miami.
Today is a very special day in the church known as All Saints Day, and, to a lesser extent, Half-Off All Halloween Candy Everything Must Go! I blogged about it here and said, in a nutshell, that
Nov 1 is All Saints Day, a day to remember that the world has seen countless men and women follow Christ, some as martyrs, some as heroes, and many unknown yet faithful. Following Jesus is never easy, but it’s good to know that, across the globe and through the centuries, we’re not alone.
On this day, we consider the saints officially canonized and saints canonized in our own lives. My mother, gone for nearly 10 years, was and is a saint. My mother-in-law, a critical lynchpin to the function of our family and an unceasing flow of love and generosity, is a present-day saint. Not just because they’re “good people” or “cleaned up their act before Jesus came over” but because they exemplify the love of Jesus in tangible, reliable ways. I think of others from our church who have gone to be with the Lord. No, they wouldn’t quickly don the cape and sash of saint, but they are, technically, saints, in that they put their faith in Christ and are now with Him. This is a great mystery to me. Also, it’s not that all saints are victorious in the eyes of the world. Some are flat-out losers, and their testimonies are especially poignant. See Hebrews 11.
People have brought a LOT of food to our house over the last week, in an effort to take care of at least one part of our day as I struggled with some kind of eye infection that rendered me functionally blind. As I write this, I’m finishing off a bit of Stromboli and thinking about a piece of Turkey Lasagna that is down to the last serving in the far reaches of our fridge. These are basic blessings that demonstrate the love of Jesus. For a hungry family in the midst of it all, this is saintly work.
Besides regeneration in Christ, right relationship with God, and the infilling of the Spirit, followers of Jesus are to be known for who they love and how they love. Who = everybody. How = tangibly. This is saintly work, the high calling and impossible standard of discipleship except by the grace of God in our lives.
Be a saint. Someday, someone will perhaps share how you were a saint — are a saint — model sainthood. I’m no Mother Theresa, but I do have a mission field that’s just as important (I think).
Here’s to a snowy All Saints Day in southwest Michigan. And here’s to half off candy that I shouldn’t be eating but, by golly, it’s a feast over here.