Communion of SaintsNew Every Morning | December 20, 2020
What makes a saint? Extravagance. Excessive love, flagrant mercy, radical affection, exorbitant charity, immoderate faith, intemperate hope, inordinate love. None of which is an achievement, a badge to be earned or a trophy to be sought; all are secondary by-products of the one thing that truly makes a saint, which is the love of God, which is membership in the body of Christ, which is what all of us … have in common. Some of us may do more with that love than others and may find ourselves able to reflect it in a way that causes others to call us saints, but the title is one that has been given to us all by virtue of our baptisms. The moment we rose dripping from the holy water we joined the communion of saints, and we cannot go back any more than we can give back our names or the blood in our veins.
—Barbara Brown Taylor, in The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)
Who has influenced you in your journey of faith? How did they impact you? Join the conversation.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
—Hebrews 12:1 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, Thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Holidays can be rough. This year is especially difficult for those whose family or plans have been affected by the pandemic. Join us to pray for those in need or share your own prayer request at The Upper Room Prayer Wall.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
For the longest time, it was my parents. Born, raised, baptized, confirmed in a Christian church going, supporting family. Active duty in the army had an influence, I went to church regularly. Married a Christian, went to church ,our children were baptized and confirmed. Lost my wife and then had the most
meaningful spiritual mountain top experience of my life in a 10 week Bible study. Since then, although back in the valley, my faith has grown slowly and steadily. This Advent the Almost Christmas Bible study and devotional has been very meaningful. Perhaps the pandemic has helped make it so, whether yes or no, it has been one of the most profound Bible studies since that 10 week one roughly 20 years ago.
The peace candle is lit today and soon the Christ candle will shine. Not only this day but every day, may Christ’s peace be in you. Amen and Amen. Thank You, Lord
My friend who lives in Montana – she mentored me from a very young age. It wasn’t until she left for Montana and prayed hard for another person to enter my life – this friend, then cultivated all the seeds planted and fertilized by my Montana friend – and I began to mature…as a person and as a child of God. These two women, both 15+ years older than me, are the two who have paved the way for me potentially gaining sainthood. May I pour into someone’s life the way they have poured into mine. The circle of life, ordained by God. Thank You, Father.