Seeing saints

by Fletcher Lowe

“They lived not only in ages past, there are hundreds of thousands still.

The world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus’ will.

You can meet them in schools or in lanes or at sea, in church or in trains or in shops or at tea,

For the saints of God are just folk like me, and I mean to be one too.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in San Francisco, CA

This past All Saints Sunday we sang this familiar hymn, and for the first time I really heard those words from the last stanza.  How relevant to connecting Sunday with Monday, liturgy with life, worship with work!!

To paraphrase the Ten Commandments (Please don’t send a lightning bolt, Lord!),

Remember the weekday to keep it holy!!

All of which reminds me of a reflection that George McLeod, a Scottish pastor who founded the re-opening of the Iona Community, made many years ago:

I simply argue that

the CROSS

should be raised in the center of the market place

as well as on the steeple of the church. 

I am recovering the claim that

Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles,

but on a cross between two thieves,

on the town’s garbage heap,

at a crossroad so cosmopolitan they had to write his title in Hebrew, and Latin and Greek…

at the place where cynics talk smut

and thieves curse

and soldiers gamble.

Because that is where he died,

and that is what he died for,

and that is what he died about,

and that is where churchmen ought to be

and what churchmen out to be about.

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