All Saints Sunday
Jesus is deeply upset, even angry, when he learns that Lazarus has died.
Mary and Martha, and many with them blame Jesus, if only he had been there to keep Lazarus from dying.
Jesus is upset again, he weeps.
Then Jesus makes it happen.
He has the people remove the stone in front of the grave.
Calling him to come to him Jesus brings Lazarus back to life.
Then Jesus tells the people to take the bindings off the hands and feet of Lazarus.
It takes people, doing as Jesus tells them.
It takes people to blame Jesus for the only end there is to life, death.
It takes people like Martha to protest the stench, before the miracle.
It takes people to free Lazarus from the bindings of death.
It takes Jesus, calling on the Father, to bring Lazarus back to life.
What is it that needs new life in your life, or is it your life itself that has died, even though you still breathe and your heart beats?
There is a long history of the church selecting people who have lived special lives and canonizing them, making them saints.
I grew up, studied and am ordained as a Lutheran, with the essence of my being to bring the visible grace of God into the experience of as many people as I encounter.
So I inherited and embrace a tradition that says all this special saints stuff is okay but misleading.
We don’t make ourselves special. Only God can.
We don’t usually see how it is that we or others are special, only the Holy Spirit can show us that.
And most importantly, God makes each and everyone of us into saints, even though we remain sinners, both at the same time.
Simultaneously saints and sinners,
is the phrase,
is the reality.
No perception is reality, or the other’s lies are made into reality.
We are all saints and sinners simultaneously.
So this is All Saints Sunday, it is our day, our day as we are by grace who we are not otherwise, children of God, and the people who reflect the light of Christ in the world.
Where did you shine to this day?
The snow hit this afternoon, as we made the last canoe ride across the lake against the wind that would become strong and filled with wet snow.
So we packed the canoe up, tucked it away, safe until Spring, and should have brought out the skis, because the snow is deep enough now for the first ski of the year.
Later we will walk on water again.
As the lake freezes and snow covers it we will ski on water frozen.
By grace, until the propane runs out. Then, who knows.
I suppose there will be those who will blame someone, maybe Jesus, that he was not here. But he is, by grace also suffering and celebrating life.
By grace, those who wish me dead and gone, will be disappointed for yet another year or twenty.
That’s life. That’s new life. That’s the resurrection of the dead.
Jesus has done it more than a few times.
Be alert. Jesus will do it in your lives, too.
Catch your breath now, for later, in the aftermath of new life, you may have little time to catch it. It’ll be filled by the Holy Spirit blowing fire and spirit through every fibre of your being.
All Saint’s Sunday.
Here’s to you, Spirit made saints, all.
We are all still sinners. And one can expect sinners’ effects to roil into our lives.
Jesus is still raising us back to life, giving us new breath in spite of our expectations that we will no longer breathe.
It’s all gift.