On October 14, extreme sky diver Felix Baumgartner jumped… fell the farthest of any human being. Felix jumped from a balloon nearly 24 miles above the earth. As he fell back to earth, he broke the sound barrier as 8 million viewers watched on a live internet stream. The previous record holder, retired Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger, fell nearly 19 miles to earth back in 1960. Said Kittinger, “I think God has a special guardian angel that’s space-qualified … to take care of people like Felix and I.”
For those few who missed this, both record-setting fallers did wear space suits and parachutes.
Tomorrow is All Saints’ Day, a day to remember and celebrate all those who have gone, and fallen, before us. That’s right, the “communion of saints” that includes disciples living and dead is a community of imperfect, fallen people.
As the apostle puts it: … all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3:23). SIn resulting from self-pride, self-interest, self-absorption always brings a big fall. Though each of us is created in the image of God, we fall short of the divine within us, God’s will for us and through us. We fall WAY short of the life God expects us to live.
There is an old saying: “Saints are sinners who have fallen and then been picked up, fallen and then been picked up, fallen and…” You get the idea.
How far have we fallen? Far short, yet, as Paul writes in the opening to 1 Corinthians, those who are sanctified [think “saintified”] in Christ Jesus, called to be saints… with all those who who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… are raised to new heights.
Who does God call to be saints? All of us, no matter how far we fall.