On All Saints Sunday we will sing these lyrics to the tune of Wild Mountain Thyme (Lord of the Rings) “There are saints who light the darkness and the world cannot contain them for the love of God sustains them and they will never be forgotten; we are blest to have them with us and we praise the God who made them. There is no way to repay them and so we simply do applaud them as they shine like the sun.” (John Ylvisaker – Shine Like the Sun) The saints who light the darkness are ever close in our memory and yet always beyond our imagination as they dwell in the place of perfection while we struggle (hopefully well) in the place of “not yet.” By that I mean we can sense the saints who light the darkness when our hearts and minds quicken as we anticipate joining them in the future final peace. Even so in the here and now we are the poor in spirit, mourning meek who hunger and thirst for things to be more just and fair and right than they are. But before we claim the gifts of being “blessed are you…” we are duty bound to confess that we are not passive participants in the things that are less than blessed. Hating violence we none-the-less revel in a really well produced shoot em up on the silver screen. Desiring equality we still cling to positions of power. We are less than merciful, hardly pure in heart and believe peace can only be achieved by an aggressive posture backed up by the ability of our firepower to shock and awe. I am not playing politics. I am suggesting you and I live in the difficult “not yet” place where “blessed are you” is not as neat as the beatitudes. So what do we do? Maybe we begin by applauding the ones we cannot repay because we believe they made it to the other side despite the fact that they were no better than we are. Which means the one who deserves our applause is the God who made them.