[Nov. 1] A large church that had centuries of heroes came to realize that there were not enough days in the year to name after every church hero that could be known and remembered. So they declared Nov. 1 “All Saints Day” in honour of all the lesser known heroes of the faith – the everyday, ordinary heroes.
The movie Mystery Men, a wonderful spoof on the idea of superheroes, features a group of misfits who have abilities that are not quite superhuman. There is The Shoveller, who, well, shovels very, very well. Or the Blue Raja, who doesn’t wear any blue but is “an effete British superhero” who “hurls silverware” with deadly accuracy. After inadvertently doing in the real superhero, Captain Amazing (the one with the sponsorship logos on his uniform) they pull themselves together and rid the world of the evil genius who would inflict his dictatorship (and his disco dancing minions) on an unsuspecting world. Well ok, it’s Hollywood at its corniest.
Their leader puts it all in perspective for a dejected group of not-quite-heroes when he makes a sandwich of all the artery-clogging ingredients his wife doesn’t let him eat and says words to the effect of, “We’re not your conventional superheroes. We’re the other guys. But we’re the only thing that stands between this city and destruction. So do we do everything we can to save the day? Or do I eat this sandwich?”
You’ve gotta love it when a church sets aside a day for “the other guys.” These are the unsung heroes who led people to Christ in ways that didn’t get noticed by the big leaders in the church. These are the kind of people who hid Jewish children in Nazi Germany. These were the kind of people who were martyred behind closed doors in countries where it wasn’t safe to profess Jesus as Christ, because they refused to keep their mouths shut. Nobody hears about them now. They were (and are) the kind of people who watch out for each other and care enough to make sure they all have what they need to live. In other words… saints.
In Matthew 5-8 we see what Jesus expects from all of his followers — his saints. In Revelation 7:9-17 we see what God thinks about “the other guys.” He wants them close to him forever. This is an appropriate time for us to remember those who have gone ahead of us in the faith, small and great. Let’s remember them with thankfulness. And let’s remember their reward.
We already know we are not the big heroes of the faith. So what will we do now that Jesus has called us? Will we be “the other guys” and do whatever we can to further Jesus’ will in order to help save the world? Or do we eat this sandwich?