November 2nd – All Saints?



William Barclay once told of a day school teacher who asked her children one day “What is a saint?”. One of the children, thinking of those figures with halos depicted in stained glass windows of the Kirk, said “A saint is someone the light shines through”. Now that is a quite wonderful description. The portrait may be lifeless, the colours faded, the glass dirty:but some of the light shines through them. Barclay loved the description. So do I. In the Bible God’s saints are the people who take him and his orders seriously. They are set apart for his use. Now, by that we mean that different objects are reserved for specific purposes. To make surgical incisions a surgeon uses a scalpel, not a bread knife: children had better not use dad’s razor to cut their cardboard: mum wears an apron when she bakes and does not wear her best dress. I keep my oldest pair of trousers for working in the garden, and we keep the garden tools separately in the shed, and not in the kitchen. In short the people who acknowledge that the chief end of their lives is to serve God, to glorify God and enjoy him for ever, are saints.They are, in Bible terms, ‘holy’ ones, even when they know that they are marred by their own sinful mediocrity. The light of their ultimate goal in life shows through. In short, for better or for worse the word ’saints’ in the New Testament means genuine followers of Jesus.
Incidentally, in the Bible the word ’saints’ is always in the plural. Saints belong together.There’s no such thing as a solitary Christian lone-ranger, even when he or she happens to be alone. ‘Saints’ is a plural word.Listen to these bits from just one letter in the New Testament – Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:1
That you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints …Ephesians 1:18
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:17-18
There are more, but I’m running out of space.So let this be the word for today, and the basis of A Prayer:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me….Ephesians 6: 18-19
Now read Romans Chapter 1.

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Thought 4 The Day

Stop trying to impress God with your integrity or with anything you think he will like. Nothing we can do can make us acceptable to God. He says,“Come home just as you are.” The door is unlocked.

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