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 A couple of years ago I went into a old and lavish church.  Mosaics on the walls, tiled patterns on the floor, painted columns holding up a stone gallery and the ceiling was thick with oil lamps.  As I approached the front of the church gold and silver gleamed with the light of candles flames... dancing between curls of incense and smoke.  It was a holy and beautiful place, but that wasn’t what I remember the most. After a time, a group of us went under the a cave...dim, dank and even more cramped feeling as we negotiated between hollows, rough pillars and caverns.  However, it was here that I felt something stir inside of me. We were underneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in a dank set of caverns...but even though the surroundings were less impressive than the church above, I’d say that it was even more significant.  This cave was the location of one man’s devotion, of 30 years of study and hard work.  It is said that this cave was the place it is said that the Latin Vulgate bible was created, the very first nearly whole translation of the bible from the original languages to a common language.  Written by a man who was a passionate scholar of scripture...a man who through his hard work, devotion and great perseverance brought the Word of God together in a new way...uniting the western church, creating the translation which was the official bible for over a thousand years.    Saint Jerome.  And in that cramped but blessed cave the holy presence of the saint still abided...that unifying spirit became etched in my memory, because as the group of us stood looking upon the place where the Saint used to sit writing... a song drifted towards us.   Familiar, yet not understood.  As we listened we recognized the tune “Il est ne le devine enfant” and as we began to comprehend...we sang, we hummed...and others joined us.  A song in many languages...people singing...unseen by one another yet unified under the cave of a saint who brought scripture together into a comprehensive, unifying force. We hear in Psalms of the importance of praising God, of with songs in the assembly, with dancing, with instruments…one translation even says to sing from our couches, our beds!  What ever you do, where ever you are praise the Lord.  This is something we are all called to do and something we are all capable of doing.  Praising God in all things.  Not only in song and dance either.  Saint Martin Luther, had some wonderful thoughts on this and other matters, 95 of them he famously nailed to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, but one saying attributed to him is a favorite of mine. “A dairymaid can milk cows to the glory of God. If your job is shoveling manure, than do your best and shovel that manure for the glory of God.”  If we look at the life of St. Jerome, what he did and how he lived…he was a studious sort.  St. Jerome was a secretary, a teacher and the writer of several theological papers that people got annoyed at. St. Jerome studied and taught, but what he taught and what he studied he did enthusiastically and to the glory of God.  We have several teachers in our midst, as well as secretaries, people who have studied …. But as St. Martin Luther reminds us, it isn’t what you do…but rather how you do it. ”…If your job is shoveling manure, than do your best and shovel that manure for the glory of God.”    St Jerome is simply one example of the many faithful whose lives, devotion, work and deaths have been passed down to us in word and story.  In our life and times, we have the advantage of 2000 years of Christianity ....we have had 2000 years to grow accustomed to Christianity and in many ways we have become complacent...we take our faith for has become too easy and now as Christianity loses it is privileged position... it is too easy for many to slip away not used to having to work at their faith, not used to being challenged. In remembering the lives of the saints we have the opportunity to get to know people who had faith and kept their faith in difficult times and in ordinary times.  As we celebrate All Saints and we have the opportunity to hear the stories of how our faith ancestors, men and women both, not only kept the faith on a Sunday afternoon, but lived their faith 24 hours a day.  We have the opportunity to know the struggles that were faced by people from all different social statuses, races, and even religious backgrounds as they became Christians so exemplary that their names are still spoken today. We celebrate All Saints because it gives us the opportunity to understand that each of us has the potential to challenge ourselves and grow in our faith so that we too can be what God has intended us to be.  Through the stories of the Saints we are inspired...inspired to walk in their footsteps and see the ways that ordinary people can be and do extraordinary things.  Each of us... has the same Spirit in us that each of the Saints possesses...we are not so different.  Teachers and scholars like Saint Jerome.  Conscientious objectors like St. Martin of Tours. St. Augustine of Hippo, named Father of the Church, one of the greatest theological minds and one who loved sin a bit too much and was famously impatient. If we read Revelations we learn that before the throne of God stands a great multitude from all tribes and people and languages...people of all sorts made one through Christ.  All of us started the same...all of us have the potential...what we need is to act on it. Our Gospel today gives us a hint about how we can act...what God is calling us to do, what God has called all people of all ages to do. Be humble, seek righteousness, show mercy, live in purity of heart, keep the peace. Act in a Christ like a Christian...not simply a nice person but an imitation of Christ.  And if Christ’s life isn’t inspiration enough there are the lives of the saints.  Men and Women who acted as Christ acted, lived as Christ lived and sometimes died as Christ died so that Christ’s light would be seen in their lives and they could be a witness to others. We are called to be witnesses...we are called to be imitators of Christ...we are called to be Saints.  We may never have masses said in our honour, nor churches named after us, but I’d guess the majority of saints wouldn’t had those goals in mind.  The saints lived their lives as faithful to the calling of God as they could.  They aimed to please God and follow his path in thought, word and deed. God grant that through the saints we may be inspired to do likewise. amen