While we here on earth might not be Saints Triumphant yet, we still are Saints. We are Saints not because of anything that we have done or anything we will do, but because of everything that Jesus has done.
And because of that amazing grace God looks at us as Saints. He looks at us through cross-covered glasses. He looks at us with glasses that are stained with the blood of Jesus. He can only look at us as Saints, even though we have failed perfection miserably, because of the perfect life, death and resurrection of our Savior. What an amazing gift to be called a Saint of our God's!
So now that I am completing another Saints Triumphant Sunday here on earth, I wonder if it will be my last. I wonder if the things I'm struggling through right now -- my obstruction, my medication, my illness -- are God's way of telling me that my time on earth is almost done. And you know what? That's bittersweet.
Why would it be bittersweet thinking that my earthly struggles might be done soon? It's because of those I would leave behind -- my friends, my extended family, my husband, and mostly my children. When we look at our lives when we start a family, we don't expect to leave them before we see our grandchildren.
We don't expect to leave them before they are married. We don't expect to leave them before they graduate high school. And we really don't expect to leave them before they are confirmed. And yes, we all know that we could die at any time. But I bet most of us don't live like we could die at any time.
It's also bittersweet because honestly, I'm not looking forward to those final hours. If my death does come from cancer, there is no guarantee that it will be quick. More than likely it will be painful, and who really likes to think about pain and death. I know I don't. God didn't create us to die.
But the sweet part comes, and that part will last for eternity. When we die we will be a Triumphant Saint in a place that will have no more sorrow or tears. We will bask in the glow of our Father and our Savior. We will see people that we have longed to see again, and we will meet people that we have only heard or read about. All our fears will be gone and all we will know is God's perfect will. Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound!
In our sermon today our pastor ended with reading the last three verses of the hymn "I Walk in Danger All the Way". I'm putting them below and I would like you to read them as a poem. If you know the Lutheran tune, resist the temptation to sing it because you will hear these words in a completely different way. (Emphasis mine)