Right now the church year calendar is stacked with feasts and festivals: Reformation Day, All Saints Day, All Souls Day. What might these holidays tell us if we combined them into one celebration?
One possibility occurs to me: We can rejoice that there are so many saints and souls whose lives have changed for the better. Another way of saying that: Repentance, conversion and transformation are still active in people’s lives.
Lately I’ve read several journal and newspaper pieces about large-scale problems that may seem unsolvable—For example, climate change, water shortages, anger-mongering, a resurgence in meth use and a stubborn pandemic prolonged by stubborn anti-vaxers. Depressing stuff.
Some of these articles, though, tell about hopeful developments: Individuals and companies who have seen the error of their ways, apologized or confessed, and are now working fiercely to reverse the seeming course of human events. Addicts who have struggled to clean up their lives and brains. Lawyers, politicians, business leaders and activists who are now insisting on saving the world around them. Religious leaders who have finally stood up to mob-pandering pseudo-Christians. Ordinary folks whose exemplary kindnesses and empathy have suddenly caught hold and spread among people like them. Newly repentant souls who have renounced hollow consumerism.
Some of these reformed individuals have passed from death to life—saints to be remembered fondly. Others have rediscovered life-renewing purpose in giving of themselves. Souls freed from the purgatory of contemporary idolatries have determined to escape what has enthralled them. And perhaps best of all: It feels to me like there are more of us who are part of the vast company of people God has reshaped for times such as these. All of us reformed saints and souls!
Thoughts worth celebrating for three days in a row…?
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