Saints I have known

Happy All Saints’ Day!  The Augsburg Confession, one of the definitive Lutheran doctrinal statements, says this about saints:  “The memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow their faith and good works, according to our calling.”

Note the vocational emphasis.  After the jump, see what else Phillip Melanchthon says on the subject.  (HT:  Mathew Block)

The term “saints,” in this sense, goes beyond those declared to be saints by the Roman Catholic Church.  Ordinary Christians, in their faith, are saints, though they are sinners too.  And some of these can serve as inspiring examples.  I have known Christians in my life who exemplify that kind of sanctity and who have shown me what Christianity lived out looks like.

What “memory” do you have of saints you have known?

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All Saints’ Day, the Reformation, and the shadow of Death

As he mourns a death in his family, Mathew Block brings together the Reformation and All Saints’ Day.  [Read more…]

The Communion of the Saints

The body consists of innumerable cells.  Each of these has its own distinct life–its own systems of nutrition, reproduction, and protection–and yet these cells group together to form highly specialized organs that, in turn, make up a single body.  The whole scheme, with its incredibly complex relationship of the parts to the whole and the whole to the parts, is astonishing to contemplate.  And the makeup of the body is the Bible’s explanation for the Church and for the relationship each Christian has with the others. This is the “Communion of the Saints” that we celebrated yesterday on All Saints Day. [Read more…]

All Saints and All Sinners

Some may say, why are you Lutherans making a big deal out of All Saints’ Day? I thought Luther was against all of that cult of the saints stuff. Well, Reformation Christians have a different take on what a saint is. [Read more…]

For All the Saints

Halloween & Reformation Day

Happy Halloween!   Happy Reformation Day!  We’ll be posting on both of those holidays today.  Both have reference, of course, to the really big holiday of the church year on the day after, All Saints’ Day.   All the ghosts and devils were thought to come out the day before All Saints’ Day, since this was their last chance before the holiness of “All Hallows” banished them back into the darkness.  And Luther pounded his theses onto the church door before the big festival the next day.

Can you make any connections between Halloween and Reformation Day?  How about between each of these holidays and All Saints’ Day?  (For example, both Halloween and All Saints’ are days of the dead, one recalling the wages of sin and the other eternal life in Heaven.)