Peter’s Blog

Rev. Dr. Peter Holmes

Peter Holmes, BA, MDiv, DMin is the Minister of the Congregation at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.

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ALL SAINTS’ DAY

ALL SAINTS’ Day
Reflection on Luke 6: 20-31 & Ephesians 1: 1-11
Todays is All Saints Day. Marie Lu is a popular young American writer who recently wrote, “None of us are Saints. We can all do better.” While I don’t doubt we can all do better, I have to take exception to her notion that a saint is someone who is perfect. The Gospel reading for All Saints Day this year is taken from Luke’s version of Jesus’ Beatitudes. The very first of the beatitudes in Luke is ‘Blessed are the poor,’ which Matthew recorded as ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ Some make much of the apparent different wording between the gospel writers, but I believe it was a sermon Jesus repeated in village after village. After all it contains the heart of his teaching and even when one preaches the same sermon twice it does not come out the same.

Perhaps in our place and time it might have come out as, ‘Blessed are you when you are spent emotionally and physically with nothing left to give.’ Why? Perhaps it is then that we begin to truly rely on God. Or maybe Jesus would say, ‘Blessed are you when you are broke or broken,’ for the same reason. Our resources are spent and now at last we let go and trust God who as the Ephesians reading puts it, ‘lavishes us with the riches of his grace,’ (Eph. 1:8)

A saint is someone who knows they are broken and turns in faith to the God who came among us in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ, to pour out the currency of his life upon the cross that we might be made whole and live for Christ and enter into the inheritance of the saints. I prefer what Nelson Mandela said about saints, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” By the power of the Holy Spirit let us persevere as true saints do.

Prayer – Today’s prayer is adapted from the Ephesians reading.
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory, we pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation that we might grow in our understanding of Christ, so that, with the eyes of our hearts enlightened, we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the true riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for we who believe, according to the working of his great power….Amen.

P.S. I got away last evening for some time of meditation and writing but in addition to my devotional for the day I add the following poem.

A SNOWY ALL SAINTS

Drove up to Meaford north of town
colourful leaves were mostly down
pumpkins on porches were aglow
but this morning I woke up to snow!

Yes All Saints Day is robed in white
for those who persevered the night.
It will likely melt this afternoon,
but can’t get winter tires too soon.

Dark clouds rise over Georgian Bay
Will dump lots more in coming days.
Batten the hatches, fix the roof
winter’s coming, I’ve got the proof!