For All the Saints

If you look in your hymnal on pages xii and xiii, you will find a list of commemorations. Some of the names are familiar: Jacob, Ruth, Joseph, Martin Luther. Some, not so much: Cyril of Alexandria, Jerome, John of Damascus. These are some of the names of Saints that our church finds fitting to remember on a yearly basis. In article 21 of the Augsburg Confession, we find three very good reasons to remember saints: first, so that we may imitate their faith and good works, second, so that we see how God was merciful to them, and third, so that we give praise to God for sending faithful servants to His Church.

This final reason is worth contemplating this month which began with the festival of All Saints. In the third article of the Nicene Creed we confess that we believe in “One Holy Christian and Apos-tolic Church.” This seems like an odd thing to put into a creed, at least at first, because is this not already self evident? It is like saying “I believe in myself.” Well of course you do, you can see yourself. However, what we confess in the creed is more than just a conviction that the church exists, but it is a confession that the church is a doctrine.

The first time we see the word church in our Bible is in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16. There Jesus promises to build his church on the rock of Peter’s confession. This is more than just a prediction of the future, but a promise from Jesus. While this promise is categorically different from the promises that Jesus makes in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, it nevertheless is a promise in which we should hope. In this promise Jesus says that he is not going to save you only, but that he will preserve plural believers. This is a great comfort, but it should also remind us that Christianity is not a solo affair. There are no rogue Christians. Instead, those who are gathered around God’s word, rightly taught, and God’s sacraments, rightly administered, together make up the church.

So it is that God’s word and sacraments are the marks of the church, for these are the holy things that make saints out of sinners in this world. In this way we begin to see the connection between the church and the saints. God makes saints in the same church which he promised to build in Matthew 16. Therefore, we praise God when we remember the saints, for their saintliness came not from themselves, but from God. From these Saints we are constantly reminded to stay steadfast in the church and submit to the love that God shows us through his word and sacraments. Therefore, this month, remember your sainted relatives. Remember the faithful departed. Remember those we commemorate in the church. For when you do this, you remember how faithful God was to them and is to you.

In Christ, Vicar Twietmeyer


Sunday Worship Services - 8:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday  Compline Service 7:00 P.M.

Thanksgiving Eve Services
Wednesday, November 27th, at 12:00 Noon & 7:00 PM



Holy Communion is available every Sunday at both services.