Matthew 22:23–33, 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, Romans 8:26–30
All Saints Day was established to honor the saints of the church. As we talked about yesterday, it is also a good time to reflect upon those that helped shape your faith. By so doing these people were doing the work of saints. Now, let us be clear, over the years, the church (whether it be the church universal, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant) has put saints on a pedestal that the saints themselves knew they didn’t belong. It is normal human behavior to do this. The saints are a “class” of people that when we think about it, we don’t believe we belong to that class. It is only by the grace of God that any could be called saint, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit in them that shaped them.
One of the biggest common characteristics of saints is that they are dead. We have all lost people we loved to the ultimate consequence (on the finite side of things) of sin…death. Death is a fact of life. The reason to bring in All Saints Day is that some in the church lost the understanding of saint. So, the Saints (especially, those without their own named day) had this day to cover all of the Saints of the church. As a consequence, some traditions have a day for the (dearly) departed after All Saints Day. This day is called All Souls Day or Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. Really, it’s about all those day-to-day Christians that had more to do with your faith journey than the Saints seemed to have.
We have inherited the legacies of the Saints and the everyday saints. What will we do with it? What is a saint? Well, the way Paul puts it, it seems we are all saints. It seems that Paul perceives all of the children of God as saints.
1) Whose death do you mourn most at this moment? Were they a believer in Jesus as Lord and Savior?
2) Why do we mourn those that knew Jesus as Lord and Savior?
3) What is the difference, if any, between a saint and a perfect Christian?