Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. Psalm 132:9
The church year is coming to a close, winter is approaching, and it’s All Saints Sunday. A reminder of death. A glimpse into new life. Each year we celebrate All Saints Sunday where we remember those who have passed away over the last year as well as any faithful people in our lives that we have lost.
This past Sunday during our conversation about the Apostles Creed we had a question or two about the phrase “The communion of saints”.
It seems that when we think of saints, we often think about the popular idea of saint from the Catholic Church. Recently in the news Pope Francis recognized seven people into sainthood. This kind of news seeps into our understanding and tends to make us forget that the Lutheran understanding of saint is every baptized person past, present, and future.
As we celebrate All Saints Sunday, we can focus on the ending – focus on the fact that we are almost at the end of another year, or we can live in the hope that with death, we are promised new life. The end of a church year means the start of another. The end of fall means we move to the death of winter, yes, but that spring will come again.
For the saints we lost, we give thanks, we are sad, we mourn their loss but we live in the hope of new life for them and for us.
The communion of saints means we are all in this together. All saints from all times past, present, and future are in communion together, we are together in our faith, and together in the new life we are promised through our trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ.