Eleven pipers piping

Elizabeth Seaton is described as the first saint native to the United States, although of course many thousands of saints were living in the United States when the new nation first declared its independence. Raised as an Episcopalian, Elizabeth married and had five children before being widowed at the age of twenty-eight. After joining the Roman Catholic Church, she founded the American Sisters of Charity, dedicated to helping the poor and to teaching children.

Saints do not become saints by living better lives than other people. God is not content with “better than average.” He demands perfection. Saints become saints by faith in Jesus Christ. Through his perfection, we saints are seen as perfect by God the Father, because he sees us through his Son and therefore calls us his children. Having been forgiven and made holy by Jesus, saints now strive to live as children of God. We try to match the perfection of Jesus. We still fall short, of course, but we are also still forgiven. We remain perfect in the eyes of God the Father.

Like Elizabeth Seaton, we can dedicate our energies to helping the poor who live in our midst. Like Elizabeth Seaton, we can use our energy to teach others what they need to know—especially the victory of Jesus Christ and his promises to rescue us and claim us for his kingdom. If we are saints, then we should act like saints, bringing glory to God’s name and drawing our neighbors to learn more about the hope that we have in Christ. J.

2 thoughts on “Eleven pipers piping

  1. Jesus was crucified by the Romans for sedition. In claiming to be Messiah, he was indeed identifying himself as King of the Jews. One account of his trial quotes him as saying (in a private hearing with the governor), “My kingdom is not of this world.” In fact, three times the Roman governor pronounced Jesus innocent before signing the death order. The accusers that brought Jesus to the Roman governor were not concerned about sedition against Rome, though. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, making himself equal to God by identifying himself both as Messiah and as Son of God. (Had that not been consistent with his message, his defense in that hearing would have been successful.)
    You ask two excellent questions, both of which cut to the very heart of the Christian faith. Where is the victory in the execution of Christ? The almighty God joined the victims of evil in this world to overcome evil, enduring all that is wrong so he could make it right. The victory announcement comes later that same weekend when Jesus rose from the dead, showing that every form of evil had been overcome. The war between God and evil was settled on the cross. Granted, looking only at that one day, Jesus seems like a loser, suffering and dying in a gruesome way. In light of his proclamations before that day, and in light of his return from the dead, the real victory comes into focus. Deny his identity as the Almighty God, or his proclamations, or his resurrection, and you take all meaning out of the cross.
    Why do I need rescuing? Not only am I a victim of evil in this world, but I have also willingly cooperated with evil. I have not done all the good things I was put in this place to do. I have done hurtful things that go against my Maker’s instructions. He has every right to ignore me, to leave me to get what I deserve for my neglect and wrongdoing. Instead, he personally entered creation to rescue me and all who have done wrong, to restore goodness to the world and remove evil, and to put me and all people back in place in his family, his kingdom, his creation.
    Arkenaten, thank you for asking those questions. Even if you disagree with everything I have just written (and I expect that you disagree with much of it, based on our earlier exchanges), you have identified the most important themes in what I am describing. Debates over creation v. evolution, or the historical accuracy of the Bible, are mere sideshows and distractions. The rescue and the victory–those are the messages worth discussing. J.


  2. especially the victory of Jesus Christ and his promises to rescue us and claim us for his kingdom.

    I do not understand this statement. What ”victory”. The biblical character was crucified by the Romans for sedition, period.
    Exactly where is there any victory in this?

    And why do you need rescuing?

    Liked by 1 person

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