For All the Saints
When we look at the saints of the church, we often think that they are so holy and perfect that we cannot relate to them at all. In our November sermon series Sinners and Saints, we hope to discover that we actually have more in common with the saints than we think.
This week we honored the saints who have gone before us on All Saints Sunday. We remembered the saints and we talked about what it would look like to actually become a saint. We read Revelation 7:9-17, a vivid depiction of the saints. In this passage, saints gather together from all parts of the world, dressed in pure white robes, to praise God. They have no more hunger, thirst, or pain, and God wipes the tears away from their eyes. Revelation 7 is the image of a new day dawning for the saints who have fought the good fight of faith and finished the race, and they commune together to worship God with all they are.
The word “saint” comes from the Greek word meaning “holy.” To be holy is to be set a part. Saints referred to in scripture are not people canonized in the church, as we would refer to them today. Paul refers to the entire church of Corinth as “saints,” which tells us it was Paul’s way of referring to all Christians. Saints are people who are set-apart and living holy lives for God and with God. They are people who let the light of God shine through them. Saints are often ordinary people who yield their lives to God and through whom God uses in extraordinary ways.
Adam Hamilton, in his book Creed, writes that “the call to be saints is at its core a call to the purpose for which God created us.” While we are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, God is shaping saints out of each of us. To become a saint, it is less about what we do and more about what God does in us. We become saints only by the Holy Spirit transforming us. To become a saint, all we must do is open our hearts and lives for God to use. God is not calling us to be another St. Francis or St. Teresa, rather, God desires us to use our own gifts to respond to the needs of our own neighbors in our specific context and circumstances.
Our race is not yet finished, there is still much left to run. But we can persevere forward, with the legacies of the saints, encouraging us to stay to the path. God is shaping saints, out of us ordinary people, as we yield our lives to God to work in and through us.
Monday- Revelation 7:9-17
Tuesday-1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Wednesday- Hebrews 11:1-19
Thursday- Hebrews 11:20-12:2
Friday- Psalm 116:1-19
Questions to Consider and Discuss
1. Who are the saints who have impacted my life? In what ways have they impacted my life?
2. Becoming a saint is about yielding our lives to God. What area(s) of my life to I need to yield to God?