Foundry United Methodist Church

Rev. Dean Snyder, Senior Minister

 

 

 

 “The Simplicity of Sainthood”

All Saints Sunday – Sunday, November 4, 2007

 

 

Luke 6:20-31

Dean Snyder

Rev. Dean Snyder

 

Sainthood isn’t complex; it is just difficult.

 

Today we remember the saints who have touched history and we remember the saints who have touched our lives. Later in the service we will name out loud those people of our congregation who have died since last All-Saints Sunday and those whose funerals and memorial services we have conducted here. There will be a time when you will be invited to say out loud the names of the saints in your life…those who throughout the years have touched your life, and who have died, and whom you are mourning.

 

Some of us, as we listen to this requiem, may need to grieve the deaths of loved ones whose deaths we have not adequately grieved. Our society gives us very little help grieving. Our church doesn’t help us enough. So for some of us today may be a day to grieve.

 

We may even find ourselves thinking about our own lives, which will end one day, and what they will add up to…who will care when we are gone…who will remember us…whose saints are we?

 

Being a saint isn’t complex; it is simple, I think, just not very easy.  Jesus, in the beatitudes in the Gospel of Luke, says blessedness or sainthood is about sharing in the poverty, hunger, sadness, and persecution of life in this world.

 

It seems to me that it is this sort of thing that makes saints. Saints are people who manage to share in the poverty, hunger, sadness, and persecution of the world. Our personal saints are those who share in our personal poverty, hunger, sadness and oppression. To be a saint to someone else, more than anything, means managing to be there at the places of pain and hurt.

 

This is not a complex thing to do but it is hard, because we so badly want to make things better, don’t we? We want to cover over the pain…to laugh away the grief. Who wants to touch the hurt within another? Who wants to put their hands in the wounds? Who wants to sit with another in grief and despair? Who wants to taste another’s depression and sadness?

 

We want to make each other feel better. We are in such a rush to make someone who is hurting feel better…to reassure each other that everything will be okay. “Don’t feel bad,” might be the mantra of our society.

 

But sainthood is about poverty, hunger, and weeping. The greatest gift we can give the world is not to hide from the poverty, hunger, pain and oppression of our world. The greatest gift we can give one another is to be willing to share another’s pain and grief…to stare into the depths without trying to make it better...to be there without trying to fix things.

 

This is sainthood. It is not complex…it is just not easy. And this is what our choir does for us this morning…they face the pain and the beauty of our grief. Let us open our hearts to poverty, hunger, tears and oppression of our world and our lives as they sing and as we share in Holy Communion this morning.   

 

 

 

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