When you hear the word saint, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it annoyance at ‘holier-than-thou’ Christians (“Oh, you’re SUCH a saint”)? Or do you think it means one is perfect in all their ways? What about that process to sainthood that we hear about in the media every once in awhile with the Catholic church?
There are many ideas as to what a saint is, even the dictionary states that its, “a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous”. Then there’s the Bible, the word of God, that describes what a saint is. In numerous verses throughout the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, you see those who put their trust in the LORD and His Son Jesus are declared as saints. At the start of almost all of Paul’s letters he refers to the believers as saints, and I’ve always found that most significant when he speaks to the Corinthian church, knowing that in the whole letter there were some CRAZY sins committed in their midst.
This is important to me because it shows something that the Bible has always communicated about the people of God. When you think of a saint, God has made it known that it’s not by one’s works that they are perfect, but that “the just shall live by faith”(Habbakuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:38). We are only justified as righteous when we trust in the work of Jesus who is Jehovah Tsidkenu, “the LORD our righteousness.” God calls us saints, even when we don’t act like saints at times, or even FEEL like saints! It’s encouraging to know that His love and affiliation/relationship with us is based on our trust in Him and not on what we can do. That is what being a saint is all about.
I say all of that because yesterday is a day that is set apart to celebrate Halloween, and whenever this day comes there’s a lot of contention and cries from fellow believers about paganism, and just an overall preoccupation of and association with death that it brings. As everyone knows; the origin of this day comes from the ancient Druid festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-heen) with its sacrifices, fortune telling with bobbing for apples, scaring off spirits with costumes, etc. But what most people don’t know is that the day of Halloween and its title is actually of Christian origin. The word Halloween comes from Hallowe’en, which stands for Hallows Eve, which is the evening before November 1st, All Saints Day.
All Saints Day is a day that commemorates those in Christ who have passed on, as well as those who are living as believers currently. It first started in the Catholic church, and therefore has more of a theologically Catholic understanding of sainthood historically, in that only certain people were declared saints by the Catholic church. However, since the Bible is before and above the Catholic church, this is a day that is also used by Christians worldwide to remember those who are with the Lord now, and celebrate our brothers and sisters who are still with us.
This celebration happened between the days of October 31st-November 2nd, where it ends with All Souls Day. When I found this out last year, it struck a chord because it’s not something you hear about in the midst of a commercialized day of Halloween, where BILLIONS of dollars are made with costumes, candy, haunted houses, etc. Each day is a day that belongs to the Lord, and when your thoughts are redeemed to think this way, everything changes. There’s something special in being able to remember your family in Christ, which will always transcend a day that’s commonly and historically used to celebrate death, and instead celebrate those who’ve CONQUERED death.
This isn’t a post meant to “flex my intellectual muscles and research prowess” LOL, but as I lay in bed and read all the different statuses and debates, saw all the costumes and parties, and personally just didn’t care for the day, I was suddenly moved to make a platform here that’ll give an opportunity for us as Christians to celebrate our family in Christ. This year has been a very hard year for many people, believers specifically, and even recently for close friends. Many of you have been shocked, saddened, and knocked down by the recent deaths of those close to you. Some have lost babies, daughters, fathers, sons, etc. While we know death always happens, when it finally does, we’re always reminded of how we were never meant to die and how much it really hurts. In the midst of the grief, we are comforted by the God of comfort, and reminded of the promises and hope in Christ Jesus for the resurrection of our mortal bodies!
So with all of the hysteria on our timelines that constantly come during this time, let us set this day apart in our hearts and lives, and honor the believer today. Let us honor the leaders in our churches who are set apart for the task of shepherding the flock, those who’ve encouraged you in your faith, those who looked at you and didn’t look down on you, but admonished you to serve the Lord in love. May we remember those who’ve had our hearts that are with the Lord right now, and encourage ourselves in the Lord and in the hope of His calling. Place a comment honoring the saints around you or those with the Lord, you can make a video as well and I’ll even put it in this post if you’d like. Keep marching saints.
*I wanted to put this song up that describes saints, its by Andy Mineo feat. KB & Trip Lee called ‘Saints’, the arrangement is by ‘Mista Musik’ on YouTube, and played by ‘The Designated Hitters’: