Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sinners and Saints

This morning we acknowledged All Saints Day even though it isn't until Tuesday. The Druidic Celts of yore believed that this is a "thin" time of the year when the membrane between this life and the next is permeable. Samhain was coopted by Christians to become Hallowe'en, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We remember those who have died in the past twelve months and I often speak about our notions of saintliness. Again today I affirmed the "communion of saints" conviction that we are saints without haloes, ordinary people called into an extraordinary life of discipleship with Christ.

Last week I stumbled upon a website for a church plant in Denver called the House for All Sinners and Saints. This really appeals to me, even though I don't really know what the congregation is like.

I am intrigued by their opening statement:

House for All Sinners and Saints' is a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-centric, social justice oriented, queer inclusive, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient - future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination...

That's a lot to chew on! It does seem to me that rather than venerating certain saintly superstars we recognize both our fallenness and faithfulness.

Any thoughts about the earthy approach to sainthood?


Laura said...

Love the opening statement:both comfort and challenge,old and the new and that they don't have all the answers but are faithfully figuring it out as they go.

The teens that met Sunday morning, spent a fair bit of time talking about "rules", and how it is hard to live out all the commandments/biblical teachings at school and on the sport's field but they concluded that they have to keep on top of their core Christian values and make sure that those are deeply rooted and reflected in all that they do...kind of a "contemplative,progressive, and deeply rooted, faithful response for a young crowd.
The lesson finished with an old but familiar tune from Godspell:
Day by Day
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day....

and we asssesed that God wasn't finished with us yet so that day by day, every day of our lives, we are challenged to narrow the gap from fallenness to faithfulness.

Lori-Ann said...

I think of one of those sayings attributed to St. Francis of Assissi. It says that everything we do is a prayer. That's the gist of it anyway. I have thought about this particular saying alot. It makes me think of times when I have been angry or anxious and in the aftermath I recognize these emotions as pleas or petitions. Likewise, in quiet moments where I haphazardly and unexpectedly catch a glimspe of something beautiful, like roadside flowers or just the warmth of Avery's being near me, the recognition is a prayer of gratitude. I don't know about saintliness, that's maybe too big a word, but I think the practice of slowing down and acknowledging the prayer, accepting that my thoughts are a communication whether I intend this or not, keeps me from straying too far away from the one who walks with me.