Here it is: All Saints Sunday, and one of the things I love about this day is that it is all about ordinary miracles.
All Saints Day is not a day to remember and celebrate famous people who have done great things, but it is a day to remember and give thanks for the ordinary miracles – the ordinary saints – in our lives. Some of them we will name here in a little while. Some of them we will name in the silence of our hearts. Some of them are well known to our whole congregation. Some of them are only known to a few of us. They are ordinary people, but they were washed in the waters of baptism, and the light shines of Christ shines in them. Their names are Don and Jan, Jean and Jim, Grace and Herlanda, Ivar and Emil and Otto and Marian and Gisela. Some of them sang in the choir, and some of them worked in the kitchen, and some of them fought in wars, and some of them took meals on wheels to shut ins. Some of them were healers, and some of them were teachers, some of and some of them – like the little girl who told Naaman about the prophet Elisha – some of them have names known only to a few people, or only to God. Some were important, like Naaman – but all of them are saints because this ordinary miracle happened to them – they were washed in the waters of baptism, they were cleansed from sin, they were named children of God, and the light of Jesus shines in them. Today we remember them. Ordinary saints. Beloved by God.
Today I am thinking of so many saints, so many ordinary, holy people. To be holy is to be set apart for a particular purpose. I am thinking about saints and what I learned from them. I am thinking about Harriet, who made it her simple practice to name ten blessings every day. Ten blessings. And who taught me to see blessings in unexpected places. And people. I am thinking about Jim, who considered going into the ministry. He became a teacher. And he DID go into the ministry. He was set aside for this purpose. I am thinking about Pearl, who reminded us that Jesus is in this place with us, even when we are fighting and arguing with each other. I am thinking of Gil, who taught me that to be passionate about the gospel and to be passionate about social justice were the same thing, part of the same discipleship, sharing the love of God with the world. And I am thinking about Jean and Jan, who were healers by vocation, and who knew the difference between being healed and being cured,
who knew that even though they were not cured, they were healed, because the hope of Jesus living in them never died.
I am thinking of so many ordinary miracles. Including you.
Each one of you.
Someday we will all worship around the throne of the lamb in the place where there is no more death, and no more pain, where the lamb will be the light.
In the meantime, each of us here is a miracle.
By some miracle, Jesus lives in us and Jesus shines through us.
Right here and now. Alleluia. Thanks be to God. AMEN