The Rules for Sainthood

Have you ever said (or heard), “Oh, she (or he) is an absolute saint!”  What makes us say that?  What are the qualifications for sainthood, anyway?  It is not as objective as doing miracles or living a ritually pious life.  It is a condition of the heart, and we know it when we see it – the loving of God, or of The Good.  It is the ability to draw others closer to the holy, to one of those “thin places” where heaven and earth, life and death, the divine and the human almost touch.  It is the ability to create space for another, or for a community, to explore their own connection to God.  The wisdom of both Hebrew Scripture and the gospels tells us to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” (at least on most days, to the best of your ability)… “and your neighbor as yourself” (even on your worst days).  That’s the rule for sainthood.

As we gathered at the communion table, with saints, past and present, known and unknown, I was reminded that, despite tradition, the church does not create, or name, saints.  In the church we only acknowledge what God has already done in the human heart.  In your heart.  For the apostle Paul called us all … “saints.”

Peace and grace,

Pastor Carol

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