Full St. Nick's News for December 5, 2023 Dear Friends, This past Sunday, we had…
November 1st is All Saints’ Day. We will celebrate All Saints’ this coming Sunday. After the 9:30am worship, we will gather for a potluck brunch and simply spend time together sharing our lives and our faith. All Saints’ Day is the time in the church year we set aside to honor and remember the saints, the faithful people, who have come before us and made a difference in our lives of faith.
Many of us are quick to celebrate the Saints that influence our lives and are canonized in the church. Saints like St. Nicholas, St. Francis, St. Julian of Norwich, and St. Teresa of Calcutta, to name a few. We call these Saints “capital ‘S’ saints” because they are famous people honored by the church. It is also fitting for us to remember the “little ‘s’ saints,” too. You know, those ordinary-everyday people who live out their holiness (their sainthood) by sharing their knowledge and talents with the world. Maybe you, like me, have some saintly and holy authors who have influenced you over the years. People like Henri Nouwen, Eugene Peterson, Brene Brown, Kate Bowler, and/or Richard Rohr.
In our Episcopal tradition, we are also encouraged to remember our coaches, teachers, family members, doctors, nurses, dentists, friends and neighbors as saints too. Saints are people who are open to God’s Holy Spirit working in and through them, and who are willing to share that love of God with the world around them. Saints are people we see every day in our normal lives. They are people working, rejoicing, praying, and loving in the most ordinary circumstances, and bringing forth God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Where do we see God at work in the lives of everyday saints? Where is God at work in the world around you? Take a look around you and thank God for the holiness right next to you, near you, forming you and loving you. Your neighbor, friend, counselor, spouse, partner, and child are all saints – every one of them!
I looked around this past Sunday and witnessed God at work. The Holy Spirit was igniting a spirit of love when our teens helped set-up the Halloween party supplies. And the spirit was moving beyond love to care as our teens and tweens helped out our littles by fixing costumes, helping with the piñatas, and teaching them on the PrayGround.
I saw the Holy Spirit opening up hearts as deeper friendships were formed when people ate pizza, talked, and laughed together. I heard the knowledge of God being shared as our littles (and some faithful young at heart folks) shared answers to questions during the Great Thanksgiving – our time of Holy Communion.
I could almost see the Holy Spirit’s radiance and felt its warmth when I received a flood of prayer requests for loved ones, the world, and for neighbors in need. I was reassured that God’s heart warms when we turn toward Jesus and ask for help for those we love and care for so deeply. I could see the communal nature of God lived out as people came together to help clean up and take care of little needs of one another on Sunday.
Noticing God at work is like taking time to “stop and smell the roses.” It’s important to notice what is happening in the present moment. When we can stop and really notice God’s work around us, we are practicing the spiritual discipline of being present with God and with one another. We begin to remember that God is this beautiful relational mystery. God is…God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three entities in one are a wonderful community of love and grace offered to and for us. God is, through and through, a relationship. God has blessed us with a relationship with one another and with Jesus our savior and bringer of hope.
I hope you will come and join us this Sunday to celebrate the feast of All Saints. We will have worship and a potluck brunch after the 9:30am service. Bring your favorite food inspired by one of your favorite saints. It can be Irish stew in honor of St. Patrick, or Butternut Squash soup in honor of St. Isidore, or your grandma’s favorite cookie recipe. For there are a great many saints who have influenced us. Let’s share their stories with one another on Sunday. And let’s for the sake of the world, for the sake of Jesus, and the sake of our faith, continue to keep coming together and definitely keep sainting away!!!
God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,