November 5, 2017
All Saints Sunday A
Matthew 5:1-12



One of the things I love about the biblical stories, especially the stories about “the saints of old,” is that they are both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. And that’s important because I can find myself in ordinary stories! Extraordinary stories are beyond my everyday experience, they can only engage me in fantasy, they can only offer moments of escape. But give me an ordinary story, one filled with struggles, loneliness, confusion, and a hard journey, and I will enter into it fully. I will feel it, experience it, and often be transformed by it.



      1. The Saints of Old




Father Abraham wandering man
Back and forth, through a strange land
When God promised to give you a home
Father Abraham did you still feel alone
Did you feel alone, Did you feel alone, I feel alone


Holy Moses standing by the sea
When the waters parted what did you see
And when you walked across dry land
Holy Moses did you understand
Did you understand, Did you understand, I don’t understand


Mother Mary, pregnant and alone
With only a dream, nothing else to hold
Did they point, did they stare
Mother Mary did anybody care
Did anybody care, Did anybody Care, Does anybody care


Lord Jesus, sent from above
When you found yourself human did you think of love
And when you walked to Calvary
Lord Jesus did you feel free
Did you feel free, Did you feel free, I don’t feel free


Here I am with choices to make
And I don’t know which road to take
It ain’t easy finding faith so bold
Am I surrounded by the saints of old
By the saints of old, Are the saints of old, Standing with me


Lord Jesus, sent from above
When you found yourself human did you think of love
And when you walked to Calvary
Lord Jesus did you think of me
Did you think of me, Did you think of me, Think of me



I’ve always been taught that scripture becomes the living word of God when we are able to enter into it, become part of the story, and engage the story in our own person. So often we think of “the saints of old” as beyond and unapproachable, and thus their stories remain just that, unapproachable, just stories, just fantasy, and from that perspective these stories do not make an impact in our lives. Yet if you go back and really read these stories you will find that these saints were very human, often too human, and at times even more human than us.   Read some of these stories again and you’ll realize that it’s easy to find yourself in their all too familiar stories.


And that’s the good news because these ordinary stories all become extraordinary when God enters into them. And just as God entered into the stories of Abraham, Moses, David, Mary and countless others, God is seeking to enter into your story. And that happens in the ordinary, it is in the ordinary human moments that all things become new and the kingdom comes!


So this All Saints Sunday remember the saints, the great saints of old and those everyday common saints that impacted your life. Remember their lives, remember their story, and learn how God entered into those stories and transformed their lives. And then let those stories begin to live in you, let them open up your understanding of life, find the parallels, discover the coincidences, and let them lead you into those times and places where God is waiting to enter more full into your story.


In this week’s Gospel Jesus reminds us through The Beatitudes that God’s extraordinary blessing is found in the faithful simple ordinary life. May God’s blessing find its way into your life this week! Amen




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