The Book of Revelations reminds us that the Kingdom of God will be filled with great multitudes which no man can number; from all nations, from all tribes, of all people and tongues (Revelations 7:9). Thus, the Kingdom will filled with both Old and New Testaments saints, early Christian martyrs (“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” – Tertullian, 2nd c.), those only known by God, and saints from every century, including those from the present day.
It seems at times man considers saints for what they accomplished, or simply that they had the patience and humility we aspire to. One particular word stands out however, when considering the fullness of their lives: relationship. They accepted the command written in the Book of Genesis that man is called into a relationship, or communion, with God.
A relationship with God requires extreme faithfulness and attention. Because God reveals Himself at each moment in time, then the importance of attentiveness cannot be overstated. God is omnipresent.
The saint saw all things in, from, and for God. There is no evil from God, nor can anything he created, by love for mankind, be an obstacle in that intimate relationship with him. The saint received everything from God as holy; all creation was precious in their sight. Everything they touched was consecrated to the glory of God. They received all men, all of creation, into their hands as if receiving Holy Communion at the Lord’s banquet table.
For the one who had achieved theosis, they knew the only true joy on earth, and the only way to enter into a deeper relationship with God, was to escape from the prison that was their own false self. Theirs was the way of the cross, and a life of self-denial.
So then, if this is the saint’s response to God’s command to establish communion with him, then the question begs to be asked: what is ours?
The level of our response must be considered in truth and honesty. If there is no response, and we make a conscious choice to live apart from God, then it indicates there is no relationship, and no covenant with the One who created us in his image and likeness. In the final analysis that means death, no resurrection, no eternal life, no Kingdom of God. We will only know chaos and experience destruction in this world.
Let us pray to the Risen Lord that each of us begins to see our lives lived fully and wholly in relationship to Christ; that there will be a reawakening in our soul and great yearning for God. If we allow this to happen, then there will be a response back to God, and that response will return us to the path which leads to the Kingdom of God and eternal life. Amen.
V. Rev. Marc Vranes
All Saints Sunday
11 June 2017