Summary: A sermon for All Saints Sunday
All Saints Sunday
"Who is a saint"
21:1 ¶ Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;
3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;
4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."
5 And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."
6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour who is the Christ. Amen
All Saints Sunday may mean different things to different people. If we were in a Roman Catholic Church we would reading about the Pope this week making Mother Teresa ready for sainthood. For some the word saint means someone who has led a Godly life far surpassing the average church person. Others, but think of the saints in the Bible, St. Paul, St. John, etc.
But I think the definition that fits us as Lutherans comes from a little child.
A small child who had for some time observed the sun shining through the stained glass windows of the church sanctuary. There he had seen brilliantly illuminated the colored forms of evangelists, patriarchs, and prophets. When his Sunday school teacher asked him to tell who the saints were, it was altogether logical that he should say, "Saints are men the light shines through "
Yes, for us as Lutherans that phrase is correct, for Saints, you and I who are believers in Christ are saints. A saint is a believer.
Our second lesson speaks about belief as one who is in Christ.
"Behold, I make all things new." " I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end"
As believers in Christ we are made new through our Baptism and that means that Jesus is the beginning and the end of our lives. Our lives begin in Christ in our Baptism and they end in Christ when we dwell in the heavenly home he has prepared for us.
We are saints who have the light of Christ in our lives and that makes us new. We are new people in Christ as we are part of the body of Christ the church. We cannot be the saints of Christ a part from the church. For the church is the body of Christ and we are members of it.
As we gather together as the body of Christ, we help each other in our faith life.
It is like the trees in the following:
The huge redwood trees of California amaze mankind. They are the largest living things on earth and the tallest trees in the world. Some of them are 300 feet high and over 2,500 years old. One would think that trees so large must have a tremendous root system that reaches down hundreds of feet into the earth. But not so! The redwoods have a very shallow root system. The redwoods root system all intertwine. They are locked to each other. When the storms come, the winds blow, and the lightning flashes, the redwoods still stand. They are locked to each other. They are not alone for all the trees support and protect each other.
Each tree is important to all the other trees in the grove. In the Church, fellowship with one another and with Christ. Without Christ, the church is nothing. Without fellowship, the church is useless. By our love, we must show the world the difference Jesus makes!
In the church we are intertwined with each other at the very core of our being through the body and blood of Jesus Christ. That intertwining is what holds the church together and what gives us at saints the courage to live our lives.
In his book"`Life Together" Dietrick Bonhoeffer says on page 23
"God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother/sister, in the mouth of a man/ woman. Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him/her. He/she needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he can’t help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother, his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure."