Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy All Saints Day To All You Saints!

I fervently pray that you avoided (survived) the pagan rituals that swirled around your neighborhood on "All Hallows Eve" and today find your trees toilet paper free and your windows untainted by egg. Today is All Saints Day and mark this day on your calender because today I declare that we Christians usurp this holiday and make it our own!

I was thinking of changing the name from All Saints Day to Take A Saint To Lunch Day, but it just doesn't have the same ring as "All Saints Day". But the idea is good, so from now on let's celebrate All Saints Day not by obsessing over dead people but by taking a saint in our life out to lunch, or dinner, or coffee, or how about just going up to your favorite saint and say "Thank you so much for your guidance/mentoring/love."

No, I don't mean going over to the rectory at St. Timmy's and borrowing the St. Christoper statue off the dashboard of Father DiNozzo's '68 Buick and taking it to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast, I'm talking about the real saints, the saints God talks about in the bible. Take a real saint in your life over to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast... unless (like me) you're not quite sure what a biblical saint is, so let's explore the biblical concept of sainthood for a moment. 

Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37)
The truth of the matter is that Biblical sainthood has nothing to do with death, miracles, ceremonies, or mortals making a legalistic proclamation. The term 'saint' is not a rank or class spiritually elevating someone over us everyday men and women, nor does it require that once the term is bestowed that saint is now required to patronize  something (then again I wouldn't mind being the Patron Saint of Narrow Gauge Tourist Railroads). 

The word saint comes to us from the Greek word hagios which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious" and is used in 222 times in the New Testament. It is almost always used in the plural form: "saints" 
to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
only once is is used in the singular
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. (Philippians 4:21)
Saints are a group of people who are set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references which describe the characteristics of sainthood;
that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well. (Romans 16:2)
for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (Ephesians 4:12)
 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; (Ephesians 5:3)
Biblically speaking the 'saints' are the body of Christ, believers, Christians, the church, His Bride. Scripturally all Christians are considered saints and at the same time all Christians are called to be saints:
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2)
'Sanctified' and 'Holy' come from the same Greek root word, hagios, which is commonly translated as 'Saint' so Christians are Saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. In other words, sainthood is what happens to you when you give yourself to Christ and the Holy Spirit enters your heart and mind. It's a connection between you and God and your brothers and sisters in Christ. It's not up to someone 500 years from now to determine, and it's not for a post mortem proclamation to imbue.

You know who the saints in your life are, they're the ones whose walk with Christ inspires your own, the ones always pitching in at church to help in one form or another, the ones who share their bible understanding with you and encourage your own study. Maybe your favorite saint is like my favorite - Fred. Fred did some incredible things in his life, he drove a tank ashore on D-Day at Normandy, he actually built our church, I could fill multiple blog entries with what Fred did, but what makes Fred a favorite saint is not what he did, but what he does. Fred is well into his 90's and he remembers every one. Be you a new member of the church or one of the town regulars whose family was there just after God finished the mountains Fred knows you. and he cares about you, and he encourages you, and he loves you. 

I think I'll see if Fred has any plans for lunch.

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