All Saints’ Day
In a week which holds All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints’ Day, it’s a good time to pause and reflect on those who have gone on before us. Whenever I come to this week of the year, I think of Hebrews 11. This “Saint’s Hall of Fame,” features some who are quite famous, known by their bold following after God alongside their flat-out huge failings in the midst of struggles. Conversely, unnamed saints—tortured, stoned, and persecuted—also grace the Wall of Saints. Commended for their faith, they encourage us in our daily life with Christ our Lord.
Saints Past and Present
Down through the ages, I think of other saints: Queen Esther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Livingstone, the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, Florence Nightingale, C. S. Lewis, Mother Teresa. Such a myriad of saints have walked across the stage of history.
Right this minute more personal ones, come to mind. I think of powerful prayer intercessor friends who have crossed over to heaven. I think of the woman who counseled women in trauma who now dances with Jesus. Who do you think of who followed long and joyously after Jesus, who is right now in His presence?
Indeed, it is this gallery of saints, a spiritual pep rally of sorts, this “great cloud of witnesses” as Hebrews 12:1-2 calls them, who cheer us on. With their encouragement, we run the race towards Jesus.
And we are runners of sorts, aren’t we? We are here and there, sometimes jogging in circles, sometimes going backwards, sometimes right up the steepest path available just to tumble straight down again, avalanche-style. Yet, even with all our antics, the saints of the past, the cloud of witnesses, continually urge us ever upwards towards the Kingdom.
Most of the time, we tend to stop here and say “those” were the saints.
But 1 Corinthians 1:2 says it differently: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” (NASB) Other verses like Acts 9:13, Ephesians 1:1, and Philippians 1:1 also name people as SAINTS, meaning all those who follow Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Saints Around Us
Today, pause and ponder this: you and I sit, walk, work, play, exercise, laugh among saints. Really and truly, we do. Look around and you will see Saint Janis, Saint Wally, Saint Loretta along with Saint Moses, Saint Paul, and Saint Peter, all who are Christ’s own through an intimate relationship with Him as their heart’s lover.
As we live in this week full of All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints’ Day, let’s reflect. Ponder the saints that have gone before us who cheer us on. Turn also and look at those we walk beside today. Greet these faithful saint-friends, just as Paul did in the start of his letter to the church at Ephesus and Philippi.
Let’s sing and rejoice for we are the ones who have stood at the foot of the cross and at the empty tomb. We who have chosen to follow the One who adores us, to be Christ-followers as our way of life. We are indeed the saints of God.
Featured images are courtesy of Kenny Orr, JF Martin, and Ayanna Johnson via Unsplash.