Do you struggle believing yourself to be a saint? Well, we probably don’t look much like the popular artwork depicting saints. Our lives often lack color amidst our many mundane affairs, and they certainly can prove messy at times.
Yes, Christians are fully human living in a real world. They experience real problems and pain, temptation and torment. In a fallen world, we tend to make fallen choices. We are “bent inward upon ourselves” as Martin Luther used to say; tending to care for ourselves more than God or our neighbour. Our lives are far from picture perfect.
Yet by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven, looked upon and declared as righteous, fully and savingly loved. We are simultaneously sinner and saint, one of Christ’s sheep who will never be truly lost. If you trust in Jesus and his promises, you are indeed a saint – called and chosen for a particular purpose. He declares it is so, no matter what you might believe, no matter how lost you might feel, no matter what your doubts and darkness might say. You and I are part of “a holy little flock and community of pure saints under one head, Christ” (Martin Luther, Large Catechism). Jesus is calling us now and waits to lead us.
Today, All Saints Day, isn’t about some musty artwork. Saints aren’t really those stoic statues and stained glass figures we see so often in churches. No, this day is about people like you and me; as well as people before us, around us and yet to come. We are an imperfect people, yet a people assembled (a church) and called (ambassadors) to risk living a bold trust in God’s grace. This is otherwise known as a life of faith. Through grace alone, we are the communion of saints. We are and remain Christ’s, never out of his loving reach.
So saints, enjoy your day and celebrate the love of God active in your life, even as you might remember with thanksgiving the saints Christ used in the past to make his love known to you. Your life will never be picture perfect, but it remains framed by the love of Jesus Christ. That’s what truly makes it beautiful and gives it meaning.
Happy All Saints Day!
© 2012 The Rev. Louis Florio. All contents not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.