|Dancing Saints at Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco|
Thursday marked the feast of All Saints, observed by many throughout the Christian world. And many of us will observe this feast in our churches come Sunday. As a Catholic schoolgirl, I certainly had one very specific idea of what constituted a 'saint.' As a woman in her prime (ahem!) who also happens to be a Presbyterian minister... I have other thoughts!
How about you? Let's talk today about saints, how we have understood them throughout our lives. Who inspires us? Who challenges us? Whose lives have stirred us to greater discipleship? Who just has the best story we've ever heard? Try to answer these questions in each of the following categories:
1. Saints of the Bible. Our Bible study this fall at church is using a Presbyterian resource from Horizon called, Unnamed Women of the Bible. It lifts up nine women in the Bible who made significant contributions to their faith communities and to the safety and well being of their communities, and yet these women are not named. These women are powerful saints worth remembering, and thankfully many of them are now showing up in Sunday morning readings as well.
2. Saints from Church History/ World History. I'm drawn to Macrina (sister of Gregory of Nyssa) who essentially funded and enabled her brothers to become the movers and shakers of their day, as well as being a theologian in her own right. I'm also drawn to Brigid, Hildegard von Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and to Theresa of Avila.
3. Saints from Our Own Lives. Too many to name all - but a few are: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Hillary Clinton (making a difference all over the world in the lives of women and children), for example.
4. Saints from Pop Culture. Bruce Springsteen, Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls - all have had a huge influence on my life - giving me hope, solace, and courage in times of despair and just reminding me to let go and enjoy life, even for just a moment in the context of some good music.
5. Saints Absolutely No One Else in the World Would Ever Call Saints. My husband. Flat out, no doubt. The most generous soul I have ever known...and one that has grown so much in the years we've been together. And now, in his 50's actually trying new things - going dancing with me and eating sushi, for example. But more than that, he is my rock and always has my back. (and, I his).