Submitted by Pastor Donna Fuller, Rock Port & Watson United Methodist Churches
“And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:27
Halloween has become a time for children to dress up in costumes and go door to door asking and getting lots of candy. But the word actually means holy evening, the evening before a holy day, All Saints’ Day. Some churches celebrate this day as a day to remember those who have passed away during the last year.
But what do we think of when we hear the word saint? Too often we think of someone who is perfect or at least closer to it than the rest of us. But this verse refers to times when we are weak and the Holy Spirit of God is there to help. Perhaps saints just mean people who have been touched by God, by that which is holy, and who in turn can touch the lives of others.
I remember many people throughout my life who helped me in various ways and who I look upon now as saints at least at certain times and in certain ways. I remember my mother reading to me from the Bible and feeling the power of those words even when I didn’t understand them all. I remember teachers who saw the places where I had gifts and encouraged them and had patience in the places where I needed more help. I remember one woman I worked for who became a mentor and who long after I stopped working at that place supported me with her words in many other places along my life’s journey.
Maybe you know some of these people. Maybe it is an older sibling or relative who took the time to teach you, or to just be with you when you needed them. Maybe it is a member of your church that shines a light on having a relationship with God. Maybe it is a member of your community that took the time to help in some way when it was needed. I think that anyone can be a saint in some way in their life and in their actions with others.
Just as Jesus lived a life bringing the divine down to earth and teaching us how God is love by the example of his life and sacrifice upon the cross, we can also choose to be open to the Holy Spirit calling us to that which is holy in our own lives. We can also open our eyes to those around us who connect us to God as they connect with our lives. And we can remember those who have gone before whose faith will not die because it lives on in those whose lives they touched.