Don’t Call me A Saint! Thoughts on All Saints Day

Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily–Dorothy Day

The western church will celebrate All Saints Day on Sunday, November 1.  According to United Methodist tradition, this special Sunday is…

a day of rememberance for the saints, with the New Testament meaning of all Christian people of every time and place.  We celebrate the communion of saints as we remember the dead, both of the Church universal and of our logal congregations. (Book of Worship)

Last week, we talked about Zombie Churches; congregations that are full of the living dead. Churches and communities that create suffering instead of responding to suffering with creativity.  On All Saints Day, we will talk about churches and communities that honor and empowered by the deep traditions of the church.

I like what Taylor Burton Edwards at the General Board of Discipleship wrote about this year’s lectionary readings for All Saints Day:

This year’s readings for All Saints Sunday focus less on the “saints” — people whose example in this life shows us how to live as faithful disciples — and more on God’s determination to set creation free from the power of death.

And is not that the great  hope of the church?  To set creation free from the power of death.  Bodily death–yes, but also the death of violence, war, poverty, illness, etc.

During this week leading into All Saints Day, lets honor the saints–all those who came before us– by taking this idea seriously.

And lets take Dorothy Day’s wise words as a warning; don’t let them call us saints.  We don’t want to be dismissed so easily.


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