I mean to be one, too

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 11:39–12:2)

And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.

And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there’s not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn’t be one too.

Once you get past the stereotypical English charm of this hymn, a perennial favorite in the Episcopal Church, there’s a solid message about saintliness.

“They were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one, too.”

The letter to the Hebrews suggests not only what that intention looks like, but who the saints look to: “Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

What weight do you need to set aside? What sin clings so closely to you?

May the presence of Jesus in your life — made known to you in the Scriptures and in fellowship with the saints around you — help you persevere in the race that is set before you.

There’s not any reason, no, not the least, why you shouldn’t be a saint, too.

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