The Apostle Paul. Saint Francis of Assisi. Mother Theresa. Joan of Arc. These giants of the faith are famous for their humility, faith, and courage. We call them “saints” because they were incredibly special – spiritually speaking. All-Stars of the faith. But while their examples are remarkable, even inspirational, I wonder if many of us find them a bit un-relatable. Like LeBron James or Frank Sinatra, we celebrate their talents, but we know we are not like them. Or as Will Willimon once said, “Saints are people we admire and look up to, but would never want to date.”
In his Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6, Jesus looks at his disciples and the crowds following him and calls them all saints. The “poor,” the “hungry,” the “weeping” and the persecuted – all symptoms of being a regular human, I would argue – he calls these things, “blessed” or holy. “You are saints, all of you,” he basically says. An idea that Saint Paul picks up in his letters to the early church, and that Martin Luther and the Reformers celebrated, as well.
So how does God transform and work through us as ordinary saints? For the next five weeks in worship, we will explore this question by looking at the lives of five lesser-known saints whose stories are powerful examples of God doing extraordinary things through everyday people. We will celebrate how Christ continues to call each of us to be transformed by the good news. And we’ll lift up stories of how we each live as saints in the world.
This issue of the Connection is full of stories of “ordinary saints” and opportunities for you to take part in God’s work at Trinity. I am so grateful for each of you, and for the ways God continues to bless us with new beginnings and new relationships – including the addition of our Interim Pastor of Spiritual Care, Pastor Dan Dahl, beginning this month!
God’s joy fill you all as we continue through summer – all you Saints!†