Saints and Children

November 1, 2020. All Saints Day is a day to remember those who have died in the past year and be encouraged by their example of living holy and loving lives. May the Father God, bless the memory of those who have gone before us and fill our grieving hearts with peace. May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, sacrifice, and love.

A reading from 1 John 3:1-3

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Look! What love! We are children of God.  That is who we really are!  John begins by reminding us to see both what we have forgotten and what we will one day fully know…our identity as beloved children.

Children know who they are by being loved.  As children of God we find our identity in the stories and celebrations of our faith, the secure foundations of relationship and belonging.

One of our sacred foundations, the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, helps us to see that saints are children who see God and see themselves as like him, bearing his image and heart. As Jesus said:

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

The goal of all the great saints has been a vision of God.  We cannot become like God unless we see him, and we cannot see him unless we are pure in heart.  Bearing God’s image and heart, we are being transformed, becoming like Jesus, taking up his mission of sacrifice and love.

Soul Search.  What does it mean to have a childlike, pure heart toward God and others when everything around us shouts insecurity and mistrust?

Last week I swam in The Frio, a Texas Hill Country river which is crystal clear with spring-fed waters, surrounded by big cypress trees and limestone bluffs. Whether you brave the cold waters or walk along the shore, the river is a great reminder that our hearts are “the wellspring of life.” What flows into our heart, overflows into our thoughts, conversations, and way of living.

As we all are living in an age of disappointment and brokenness, how can we “dam” the false flood and keep the life-giving spring waters of truth filling our hearts with childlike trust and love?

Meditate on Psalm 24:3-4. Who shall stand in the holy place (of the Lord)? He or she who has clean hands and a pure heart. One who does not lift up their soul to what is false…will receive blessing from the Lord. Such is a generation of those who seek the face of God.

Practice. As the holiday season approaches, talk with your family about ways you can bring stories of faith into your celebrations. Read Scripture together. Find creative ways to remember family members who have passed on. Stay away from divisive conversations and negative input by having positive options for games, movies, and dialogues.

One idea for kids. Choose a saint to get to know such as St. Francis of Assisi or Harriet Tubman. “Not all superheroes wear capes, mine wears a cross.”

Photos: ©Amy DeCaussin 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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