By Josh Hunt
"Good morning, saints. Good morning, sinners."
So begins the weekly worship at a predominantly African-American church in Knoxville, Tenn., where I had the pleasure to preach several years ago.
The entire congregation responds after each greeting. The welcome conveys the sense in which we all have the capacity for greatness and goodness and we all have the capacity for wrong.
"Sinner" is a term I am very willing to embrace for myself, as it describes all too many of my words, actions and thoughts. I am not so apt to employ the term "saint," as it carries with it more weight and expectation and demand than I am usually willing to live out.
Sinner explains too much of my life; saint doesn't explain enough.
In the Christian tradition, All Saints' Day is when we remember those who have helped us be the people we are, those who have reached out to us when we did not reach back, those who have treated us better than we deserved to be treated, those who gave us some encouragement when we were terribly close to a breaking point, those who loved us when we weren't particularly lovable — those people that were, to us, saints.
We need to make time to celebrate the people who have positively impacted your life. We need to make time to be those kind of people to someone else.
-Josh Hunt is pastor of Ross Grove Baptist Church in Shelby, N.C.