Rector, Casey Shobe Sermon by: The Rev. R. Casey Shobe
Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration | Dallas, Texas
November 5, 2017
All Saints’ Sunday


“Beloved, we are God’s children now.” That’s what Saint John the Divine reminds us in the letter we heard this morning. “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are.”

In the gospels, there’s a story about Jesus teaching his disciples that only those who become like children can hope to truly enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:2-4), and what he had in mind is something more than the patronizing sentimentalization of children that is so common in our society these days. This is about more than just that “kids say the darndest things.” It’s about something unique and holy that is present in childhood that fosters deeper and closer intimacy with God.

Today is, of course, All Saints Sunday, when we commemorate the whole heavenly host of saints down through the ages. I have heard many definitions for saints over the years, but this week I’m pondering what it means for saints to be God’s children. Saints are like people who grew up and yet didn’t ever outgrow the divine imprint of joy and wonder that is the hallmark of childhood. They retain the ability to view the world with hope and possibility. They hold on to their imagination when so many around them succumb to the idea that adulthood and maturity require us to be serious and somber and solemn all the time. Saints show us what it means to be God’s children, how to hold onto all that is good and joyful about life with God. They are the living embodiment of the prayer that we say after every baptism, that the newly baptized will have an “inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love