Sunday, November 01, 2009

Go Saints Go!

My old High School team was nicknamed the Saints (after St. Martin). We had rather simple cheers, like "Go Saints Go," and "Block that Kick." The only time we ever had a band was when we bought a bunch of kazoos and played "When the Saints go marchin in." If only we had Satchmo, for just one game, I am sure we would have come out on top more often. I can just picture the crowd in the bleachers, singing this song, stomping their feet, and clapping us on to victory.

Today at ECOOS we celebrated All Saints Day and the Commemoration of the Dead. Fr. Foss delivered the sermon, not from the pulpit, but from the center aisle of the nave. He did a good job of sticking to the Gospel story of Lazarus, although I was a bit skeptical about his use of the term "soul mates" to describe Jesus' relationship to Lazarus' family. I guess it was because our Governor recently used those words to describe an altogether different type of relationship that my mind wandered into no-no land.

Wanting to learn more about the Saints, as well as how we relate to the deceased, I browsed the web a little. As a result, I find myself recommending Father Dean A. Einerson's post for All Saint's Day at A North Woods Anglican. Let me tease you with a sample:
"Ever since the first century there are those who have tried turn the Gospel into myth, into an engaging story to teach timeless truths. There is a great advantage to that approach because it means that then the Gospel is just another tale, just another story, and it will have no more claim on how anyone lives his or her life than any other myth or, for that matter, any other movie. And that is what makes All Saints’ Day important."

"In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read these words: '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.' (12:1) The image here is of a stadium filled with all those who have gone before us, cheering us on as we too run our race."

Read it all.

I often kick myself for being so focused on playing the game that I forget about the cheering crowd. Athletes might call that focus, or "being in 'the zone.'"

Might it not be better for us to step out of "the zone" that we find ourselves in, and instead, pay heed to the great cloud of witnesses in the bleachers cheering us on? I want to be on their team!

Let's see, how did that old fight song go?

"Oh when the Saints go marching in,
Oh when the Saints go marching in,
Oh yes I want to be in that number,
When the Saints go marching in.

Oh when the Saints refuse to lose,
Oh when the Saints refuse to lose,
Oh yes I want to be in that number,
When the Saints refuse to lose.

Oh when the score begins to rise,
Oh when the score begins to rise,
Oh yes I want to be in that number,
When the score begins to rise."

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