Tag Archive for 'Jonathan Myrick Daniels'

All Saints’ Day November 1, 2009

Wisdom 3:1-9                                                                       

Revelation 21:1-6a                                                               

John 11:32-44

It’s wonderful when you suddenly receive a new insight, a new understanding or way of looking at something that’s maybe been around for a long time. I mean wonderful in the literal sense: something that causes you to be filled with wonder, to notice that this insight is a gift from outside yourself, nothing short of a revelation from God. We need to own those wonderful revelations, the small ones as well as the large. God does work in our lives!

I received such a revelation as I was working on a project to help one of our teenagers. Robert isn’t here this morning; he’s helping his grandfather put a new roof on his house. But many of you know Robert’s story. He lives just down the road. He’d never been to church, never been baptized; religious faith had never been a part of his life. But his dad, who’s raised Robert,  felt he should have some exposure to church, so for about the last year Robert has been coming here, all by himself, most Sundays. He’s been joining in worship, in the youth group activities, become an acolyte, even did an Adopt-a-Highway pick-up one Sunday – and if that’s not being part of Holy Cross, I don’t know what is.

Robert doesn’t receive Communion because he hasn’t been baptized. He and his dad want him to understand more fully what Baptism and Church membership would mean so he can decide whether he wants to receive this sacrament. So I’ve been working on a book – a little book! – that I call “Robert’s Book,” to try to communicate what I think would go into a thoughtful decision for a young man like Robert. And that’s caused me to do some thinking too.

I’m using as my structure for the book those “four B’s” that we talk about from time to time: Belonging, Behaving, Believing and Becoming.” You’ll remember: we talk about what order they should go in, and how in the Church, traditionally, believing grows out of belonging to a community and learning it’s ways – what we mean by behaving.

Behaving is an awkward word here. We use it in the four B sequence because it begins with a B. But we don’t mean behaving in the “sit up straight,” “don’t pick your nose,” “don’t pick on your little sister” sense of the word. Being a Christian is a whole lot more than being nice and polite (indeed, many of the saints weren’t either of these things!). So how to explain in “Robert’s Book” what Behaving means? That was my challenge. And  here was my revelation: we learn about Christian Behaving from the saints. Continue reading ‘All Saints’ Day November 1, 2009′