All holiness is local: the feast of Saint David King of Scots!


Today I found myself struggling to find something relevant to say about Saint David King of Scots. It was my duty to speak to those gathered about a saint whose life we remembered for its witness to the gospel. But what could I say to a gathering of mostly Scots about a Scottish king when 48 hours ago I had no idea he existed? David King of Scots is not remembered on the American calendar. I googled him, but to say too much about his life felt false and unearned.

So I told them the truth. David King of Scots did not matter to me, but he did to them. All holiness, in the end, is local. To those who lived during David’s time, and to the people of Scotland who choose to remember him, his life points them in the direction of Jesus.  This is enough, and it should be a comfort to us. Most of us will only be remembered by those closest to us. Our families, friends, neighborhoods and colleagues are the community before whom we live out our Christian lives. That they might come closer to Jesus through our witness is sufficient. This means that it does not matter if my dissertation changes the course of biblical scholarship (it won’t) if my wife, children, siblings, and colleagues do not see in my life what the biblical texts say should be the distinguishing marks of the Christian life.

Saint David King of Scots is remembered most fondly by those closest to him, his own kin and country. This is as it should be.

Published by Dr. Esau McCaulley

Esau McCaulley is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. His research and writing focuses on Pauline theology and the intersection of race, Christian identity, and the pursuit of social justice. He is also a priest in the Anglican Church in North America where he serves as Provincial Director for Leadership Development, which involves oversight of the recruitment and formation of clergy and lay leaders. He is one of the creators of Call and Response ministries, an organization committed to hosting conferences and creating resources for Black and Multi-Ethnic churches.

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