The Collected Sermons of William H. Willimon

Willimon, William H.

Westminster John Knox, 2010

pp. 34 - 35

God chose Israel out of love, not out of awe because of Israel’s moral and spiritual achievements. In fact Israel was often proud, wayward, difficult, unfaithful. So “whatever is meant by ‘a people holy to the Lord,’ it means something other than a person pure and spotless. A biblical saint is not a person who lives such a virtuous life that a committee nominates her for the honor of Chief Moral Virtuoso. No, biblical sainthood is a matter of what God does with people. A person is called a ‘saint’ in the Bible because God wants that person to do something holy, not because that person is holy. Saints are people called by God to do God’s work.” Even people like Rahab. “On a typical day, going about her typical business in the world’s oldest profession, the old girl got ‘commandeered’ for God.”