The Morning After
Q. What is All Saints' Day?
A. In my book, All Saints' Day came early this year. Most years, we have to wait until the morning after Halloween. Following a night of romping about in costumes of vampires, zombies and other agents of death, we wake up the next day to celebrate the ones who have gone on to receive the gift of eternal life. As the hymn goes: "For all the saints, who from their labors rest…"
But the Bible didn't reserve the name of saint to those who have already died. On the contrary, the New Testament regards all believers as saints, called by God and "set apart" for a life of service to God.
I was thinking about living saints when we were all in church two Sundays ago, celebrating Ruby's 99th birthday and baby Nathaniel's baptism. Seldom do we get such a vivid presentation of the grace of God spanning from one end of life to another. Both Nathaniel and Ruby are children of God, claimed by God and set apart for God. In other words, they are called to be saints. By virtue of their baptisms, they have been "born through water and the Spirit" and given the grace to "live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ." We can readily see how God's grace has worked in Ruby's life, and we can't wait to see how God's grace works out in Nathaniel's life.
Meanwhile, the rest of us fall somewhere in between 0 and 99, but all of us believers are likewise called to be saints. That means All Saints' is our day. So wake up. Get up. And get on the way!