Celebrate Like a Saint

photos by Hannah RoeleveldI am a remedial evangelist. Ask any of my victims (I mean, non-Christian friends.)

God’s given me other gifts to use to build up the body of Christ so I don’t worry about it (much). Even so, I believe I’m still called to speak up for Him when I can – even if I do it in clumsy and Youtube-worthy ways.

Some time back, I met a coworker for coffee once a week over several months before I realized she was Jewish. Oh, yeah, like THAT remedial.

When it finally became so obvious even I realized her heritage, I apologized. “I’m sorry to be so obtuse but, seriously, you’ve listened patiently to all my Jesus stories for months. Why didn’t you ever stop me?”

She shrugged. “You’re kind of a curiosity. Every other Christian I know is sweet and nice but you’re, well, not. I was fascinated at how Jesus looked on you.”

Hi, my name is Lori. I am an evangelical lab rat.

Another time, I casually mentioned to another coworker that I’m a follower of Jesus.

He nodded. “Ahh, that explains a lot.”

“Really?” I said, hoping I was about to hear how often he’d wondered why I was so special.

“Yeah, I’ve always wondered what kind of weird you are and that totally fits.”

Great. So, he does think I’m special – like special.

No one would ever refer to me as a saint. But, they would be wrong because a saint is what I am. That’s right. I’m a saint. Go ahead, laugh, but it’s true because the Bible says it’s true, so there.

Not a saint like people will petition the government to recognize Saint Lori day. (That would likely involve everyone tipping back large hot black coffees while moving as little as possible and watching marathon reruns of NCIS.)

No, I’m a saint because Jesus has called me to be a saint. Once I was a citizen of Sinville, a kingdom with high walls, barred windows, and locked gates. Coming from Sinville, I was a Sinner with permanent residence status, unable to visit outside the boundaries of the city.

Jesus called me out. Freed me. Handed me the key to His city, the Kingdom of God, inhabited by permanent residents known as Saints. I sometimes forget where I live and wander back to my old neighborhood in Sinville but that doesn’t negate my permanent address in the Kingdom of God or my saint status.

Saint Patrick didn’t start out as a saint. He started out like me – a slave – trapped in a place he didn’t belong. Longing for escape. Seeking release. Once Jesus freed him, he could even return to the place of his original captivity and retain his free state. That’s what happens when Jesus calls you to sainthood.cropped celtic cross

If you follow Jesus, you, too, are a saint. How do I know? The Bible says so. “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7

That’s right. You’re a saint. We could be celebrating you!

Sainthood has nothing to do with our actions and everything to do with our relationship to Jesus. Sort of like Princess Diana – remember her? She wasn’t born royalty but the moment she married Charles, royalty she was. At first, she stunk at it. There’s photographic evidence to back that up! But gradually, as she owned her royalty, she became royalty in a way she didn’t lose even after she lost it.

The sooner we inhabit our sainthood – the sooner we’ll be able to live like Christ – and Patrick – sacrificially loving others, able to return to the place our original captivity and model freedom. The sooner we’ll have the power to chase the snake out of our land.

There are many ways to honor St. Patrick’s Day, but I’ll tell you how saints celebrate. We celebrate by inhabiting our own sainthood. That’s right. I’m calling you out. I’m calling all of you who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today, walk in grace and peace. Live as free souls even if you are surrounded by those who would keep you captive. Drive the snake out of your land – you have the power through Jesus who crushed his head under His heel. Inhabit your citizenship in the Kingdom of God, your status as saints. THAT’S how you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

I don’t usually link to other articles but I was moved by this article from World Magazine titled, Poor Whites Need Jesus and Justice, Too to look anew at the world around me, the people in my vicinity, and consider the harvest at my own back door. I encourage you to do the same.

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    The Conversation

  1. I read this article with interest, but what stopped me in my tracks was this line: “I was fascinated at how Jesus looked on you.” The watching world watches – what do they see?

  2. I just posted: I read this article with interest, stopping at “I was fascinated at how Jesus looked on you.” I couldn’t help but think the watching world watches, what do they see?

    but I think it got lost