For All the Saints
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
All the ordinary, lowly people, Jesus says, the ones who suffer,
They-We are the saints,
the wisps of life in the sky for all to see God’s great works of saving ordinary, lowly people, giving them-us
Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you.
2 Timothy 1:5
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.
Words of Grace For Today
Saints, or as Jesus calls us, the blessed, μακάριος, were understood to be different things.
At first the μακάριος were the gods, literally, for only gods could achieve a state of happiness and contentment in life that was beyond all cares, labours, and even death. The blessed ones were beings who lived in some other world away from the cares and problems and worries of ordinary people.
Well, that’s not us, no question. No, we are not the ‘makarios’, the gods.
Then the μακάριος were seen to be those who had died. That’s how they moved beyond the cares and labours of life here on earth. Death gave them entrance to God’s paradise.
Well, last I checked anyway, that’s not us either.
Nope, not me anyway.
Then the μακάριος were thought to be the elite and privileged, those people whose riches and power put them above the normal cares and problems and worries of the lesser folk—the peons, who constantly struggle and worry and labour in life.
Then along comes the usual thought that if people were wealthy they must have earned it, so the μακάριος were those who enjoyed the results of right living, or righteous living. If you were blessed you received earthly, material things: a good spouse, many children, abundant crops, riches, honour, wisdom, beauty, good health, etc; more things and better things than an ordinary person. To be blessed, you had to have big and beautiful things.
Nope, definitely not anyone I know. Those that are rich like that and think they have earned it are almost always pretty ugly people on the inside if you know how they’ve gotten so much more than the ordinary stiffs, like us.
Fortunately Jesus puts things upright (upsetting the apple cart of all that blessed privilege stuff of so many generations and fools).
Jesus says the lowly ones: the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the meek, the mourning, are the μακάριος, the blessed saints.
(Thanks to Brian Stoffregen again for providing the summary I’ve used as the basis for this.)
Now that’s a crowd, and it is a huge crowd of the hoi poloi of every generation, the majority of people who ever lived, that’s a crowd that we fit into.
If we are lucky.
If we are …
If God has claimed us and made us
For all the saints, a day to remember, and a time to look to the future God provides for the saints.
Yep, now that’s us.
That’s the down and dirty of it,
of it all, actually.
At least that’s what the old folks taught me.