You can name them.
Many of you already have.
Those saints who have been and are a part of your life.
Those people whose faith helped to nurture your faith. Those mentors whose values and work and witness serve as a role model for you to follow. You remember and can name those people who helped you identify and claim your own unique gifts and abilities and how you might use them to make the world a better place. Just like I can, you can still see their face and hear their voice and speak with them in your heart.
But, here’s the thing.
As important as that is.
And, like you, I am grateful beyond words for the impact those saints had and have on my life. Like you, I would not be who I am today or where I am today if it was not for them. As important as your recognizing their impact on your life and faith, and giving thanks for who they were and are and taking a moment to realize you are not alone, have not done it alone or become who you are alone and that you stand and live your life surrounded by that great cloud of witness…
As important as that is, it is not enough.
There is also this.
You are called to be a saint to somebody.
I don’t know who that somebody is.
You may not know who that somebody is.
But that is a part of the deal.
A part of who you are called to be.
Don’t get me wrong.
It’s not like you polish your halo and walk out the door and strut or stroll down the street or into work saying to yourself, “I am going to be a saint to somebody today.” But, it does mean this. In the midst of life exactly as it is for you with opportunities and responsibilities and cares and concerns and celebrations and children and family and work and the headlines in the news. It does mean walking out the door reminding yourself you are called to be partners with God in God’s ongoing work in the world. It does mean walking out the door with eyes and heart wide open willing to see and to embrace both the beauty and the pain. It does mean walking out the door doing your best to see and to recognize the imprint of the Holy on each and every person you see and meet.
You become a saint to someone in that moment you see them for who they are and help them to see themselves for who they are. You become a saint to someone by walking with them through the joys and struggles of their lives. You become a saint to someone by doing your best to put into practice the values of your faith even though more often than not you feel you fall short. You become a saint to someone by being honorable and kind and compassionate and generous. You become a saint to someone by seeing and being grace and hope and peace and light.
As Megan Hansen wrote for our Facebook page this morning:
“Being a saint comes not with angel wings, but rather work boots.”
So this morning…
We remember and give thanks for all the saints.
Those who have been the saints in our lives.
And, for that great cloud of witnesses which surrounds us. And for the stories they tell and the witness they bear which help us connect past to present and today to tomorrow.
And, we also remember and give thanks for this particular community of saints for who you are and for all you do. For who we are and who we are called to be.
Today, we remember and give thanks for all the saints.
You and me included.