Ever since A.D. 610, when Pope Boniface IV instituted this festival in Rome, each November 1st has been recognized as All Saints’ Day There are two distinct dimensions to every All Saints’ Day. First of all, it is a day when we remember those saints, famous and familiar, whose lives have graced the church, and whose faithfulness continues to inspire God’s people. We think of Biblical characters like Abraham, the father of the Hebrew faith; or David, Israel’s greatest king; or Peter, the first among our Lord’s disciples; or Paul, who started a number of congregations. We think of those who have left their mark on the church in more recent years: early church leaders like Jerome, Augustine, or Athanasius; musicians like Bach, Schütz, and Handel; reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox; teachers and witnesses like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. All Saints’ Day is a day to remember all of those whose lives have enriched the church, and have inspired our own faithfulness.
There is also a second dimension to All Saints’ Day. It is also a day to acknowledge, with the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, that saints are those who know what is the hope to which God has called us, who know the riches of the inheritance we receive in Christ, and who know the immeasurable greatness of Christ’s power for those who believe. Put in a different way, a Christian is (in the words of Luther and the reformers) simil justis et peccator: “at the same time, saint and sinner.” Luther taught that all believers are sinners since we are human, yet all believers are saints, since we have been cleansed by the righteousness of Christ. On All Saints’ day we remember who we are: sinners in need of forgiveness, and saints washed clean by Christ.
We have chosen the name “All Saints” for our church in order to reflect the above conviction. We also acknowledge the encompassing nature of our name. “All” does not indicate everyone without discretion, but all types of people – socially, racially, ethnically, culturally – are accepted into the community of the Church through their profession of Christ. As a result, an aspect of our mission and vision for ministry is for our congregation to reflect the community in which God has placed us. All people are welcomed to come and hear and receive the free offer of the gospel and the free extension of grace by Christ. We invite everyone to come without hindrance or inhibition and see that through the compelling message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are all saints in Him.
May God bless his saints this day, as we serve together at All Saints.
November 1, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Please join us at All Saints’ Worship Location (at the corner of Poplar and Bellevue) at 3 pm on Sunday, June 28th, to view Sally’s photo exhibit: ‘Europe in Photos‘.
Proceeds from sales of Sally’s photography will benefit All Saints Food Ministry.
Rev. David Stenberg
Listen Here (37:02 minutes)
16 Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this house of God they offered a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, four hundred male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, twelve male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they installed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their groups for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.