From the Dean’s Desk…

All Saints, Fra Angelico

“In Holy Baptism God makes saints out of sinners. In Holy Communion God forgives the sins of all the saints. In the assembly today we give thanks for all the saints ‘who from their labours rest,’ who have fought the good fight, who have gained the crown. In the same breath we petition our God for the strength to hear and to heed the admonitions of the Lord Jesus in today’s gospel. Recalling that we have been sealed by the Spirit and sustained by the Saviour’s body and blood, we keep on keeping on as God gives us breath, to the praise of God’s glory.”  From for All Saints Day/Sunday.

saint (n.)   early 12c., from Old French saintseinte “a saint; a holy relic,” displacing or altering Old English sanct, both from Latin sanctus “holy, consecrated” (used as a noun in Late Latin; also source of Spanish santosanta, Italian san, etc.), properly past participle of sancire “consecrate” (see sacred). Adopted into most Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian sankt, Dutch sint, German Sanct).  From the Online Etymology Dictionary.  

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours…                    (I Corinthians 1:2)

Sanctified in Christ Jesus, means made holy in Christ Jesus, whereby he takes our death upon himself and gifts us with his life, and thus blesses us abundantly in this world and forever in the next.  We, who are his disciples, are ‘called to be saints,’ not through any merit of our own but through God’s amazing grace revealed most clearly in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Today three children, wonderful gifts in and of themselves, are joined to that cross and resurrection in the waters of death and life, in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.  Lillia and Alexander and Ethan are made children of God and beloved of God always.  In the water and in the promise of God together – abundant life now and eternal life joined to Christ – we too are reminded of promises made long ago by our parents and by ourselves in confirmation.  Most especially, though, and most importantly for us, we are reminded of God’s promise for us, as well as for Lilli and Alex and Ethan, naming us and claiming us as God’s own, beloved children forever.  Truly, in Christ, and because of Christ, we are all saints together with that vast cloud of witnesses who have gone before, made holy, sanctified, sainted by Christ crucified and risen.

Thanks be to God!