Friday’ News @ NEW LIFE… inspiration & direction for 21st Century Jesus’ followers… and a bit of parish news, too!
’25 Hours of Saints!’
Dear Friday’s Faithful,
Beautiful day! Beautiful weekend! 25 hours of ‘saints’! This will be a gift to you…if you choose to accept the gift…
As I mentioned in last Sunday’s message…
“And on the day called Sunday there is a meeting in one place of those who live in cities or the country, and the memories of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read as long as time permits. When the reader has finished, the president in a discourse urges and invites [us] to the imitation of these noble things.”
–Justin Martyr, First Apology, LXVII about 155 A.D.
Old words; modern application.
I read a post this week that people were reminded to turn their clocks BACK 1 hour… Why? So they would have 1 extra hour to ‘sleep in’ on Sunday! What, sleep in? On a Sunday? Who does that? God forbid. Christians sleep in on Sunday and neglect the “memories of the Apostles?” God forbid. Neglect the time designated to announce to God and others… “I’m a sinner. There are holes in my life. Only grace will make me whole! Jesus’ grace is always enough.” Neglect the words… “for the sake of Christ your sins are forgiven” and neglect the re-discovery that my life has meaning and that I count and matter to God? And then dismiss singing our hearts out to God that somehow we have made it to another Sunday gathering? God and heaven and ALL the company of SAINTS forbid!
And that is just what is worth celebrating this Sunday…the presence of the Holy Trinity, the songs, the prayers, the Word, spoken and visible via the water, bread and wine and ALL THE COMPANY OF HEAVEN!
Have you been to a family reunion lately? It is such a great thing to gather with people we love and are loved by. And what do we hear? “Wow! it’s so good to see you!” “You look great!” “How are you?” “What have you been up to lately?”
And then after a while someone finally asks the other important question…”Where’s Joe?” or “Where’s Mary?” or “Did Joshua come today? I haven’t seen him!” See? When the family gathers we are noticed and when we neglect the gathering we are missed and even more than that…we miss out! And perhaps that’s why one of the names for the of the Church is “communion of saints“….because as baptized people we belong to Christ and therefore to each other…each part important…each one unique and necessary to do the work of ministry we are called to do….together…
And there is much work to do and yet on a occassion such as this Sunday, there is much to acknowledge…
Where would you and I be without the witness of the saints? Not angelic, halo-wearing, soft-spoken perfect images of humanity…saints as in those who chose to love us? Saints as in those who chose to teach us? Saints as in those who chose to walk with us even when we were unlovable, unteachable and insisted in going our own way?
Yes, those kinds of saints…salt and earth, cussing, fussing and moaning through life kind of saints who demonstrated to us, nigh on now for decades, centuries and millenia the tenacious grace given to us in Jesus Christ and testifying to God’s love for the world…even a world such as ours and filled with people like us! Truly, truly amazing…this grace and love and peace and mercy of Christ… Question? Where would we be without them? Where?
Every Sunday, and especially THIS Sunday, the Celebration of All Saints…November 7, 2010…we recognize that all the “saints in light” will be gathering in advance as we prepare our hearts and minds for worship…they will be gathering to announce the presence of the mighty Jesus, the only Son of God, savior to all the cosmos… and if we are quiet enough…we may hear them whisper in our ears…
“cling to the memories of the apostles, listen to the prophets, let the water of baptism bathe your soul again today, run to the table to feast with Jesus…he is here..he his with us… and as you leave today, my dear one, let your light shine before others so that they might see your good works and glorify your father in heaven…that’s what we tried to do for you… and we cheer you on so that you will, too!”
Just think…25 hours to bask in the presence of ALL the SAINTS… and if your life is like mine…that extra hour of basking is sure to help!
See you Sunday…it will be a day to rise early and sing!
New Life. Now!