Good Shepherd Lutheran

Already Saints – Luke 6:20-31
Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain” sounds a lot like Matthew’s “Sermon on the Mount.” But there are some important differences. For one thing, it’s shorter. But one of the most important things that Luke mentions is where Jesus tells his disciples to love their enemies.
Loving our enemies isn’t a ticket to sainthood. Instead, Christ’s command to love our enemies is born out of our sainthood. It’s the way we need to respond to being blessed.
Responding as saints to God’s blessings happens when we share God’s love with others. God wants every person on earth to know Him and love Him, so we’re literally responding as saints when we’re hungry for God and share that enthusiasm with others. It also happens when we allow ourselves to feel the pain and sorrow God feels for people who are hurting. Since these are the people God loves, we reflect God’s love when we show our love to them.
And when we stay focused on spiritual wealth, money loses its power over us, so we’re responding as saints then, too. As we practice generosity, we lose the desire to accumulate more than we need, and we may even find that we really need considerably less than we thought we did before.
But perhaps most importantly, responding as saints happens when, since every human being is loved by God and is worthy in His sight, we act to stand up to injustice with love and generosity.
Here’s the thing. We’re saints because we’re sinners. We’re sinners who’ve been forgiven and loved and graced into sainthood. It’s got nothing to do with what we do, and everything to do with who God is. God loves us. God made us for that very purpose, so He could love us, and we could love Him.
God loves us enough to forgive us for being too satisfied with ourselves. For gorging ourselves while others go hungry. For hoarding our wealth while others have nothing. He even loves us enough to forgive us for everything we’ve ever done to separate ourselves from Him. If we’ll only ask for His forgiveness, He’ll forgive. God loves us enough to transform us from sinners into saints.
As we celebrate All Saints Day, we join the great company of saints who have gone before us, and the great company of saints who will come after us. All of us forgiven. All of us loved to our very core. We come together to remember that God’s love isn’t limited by our standards because through his Son, Jesus Christ, God is setting a new standard. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who abuse you.
To put it simply, do to others as you would have them do to you. Do to others as God has already done for you. Not so you can become a saint, but because you already are.