November 1 is the designated date for All Saints’ Day and it is a day to thank God for the saints.
Churches who follow this ancient tradition may also celebrate this day on the next Sunday (November 2).
Now celebrating the saints is not biblically mandated, but like many traditions in the church it grew out of a need to recognize the many who had died during a time of great persecution in the early church. The first recorded celebration was back in the 4th century.
Even so, this tradition is not recognized among most Reformed, Baptist, Holiness and Pentecostal churches. It is practiced by Roman Catholics, the Orthodox and Anglicans as a day to give God thanks for the saints, but also to revere and pray to the saints.
As Lutheran Christians we hold onto this tradition because of its meaningful connection to the past, present and future.
We remember and give God thanks for all the saints of the past who through their life and even death witnessed to their faith in the good news of Jesus Christ. It is their example that we remember, but we do not pray to them since Jesus Christ is the only mediator between us and the Father.
We also give thanks that by God’s grace in what Christ has done in his life, passion, death and resurrection we have been forgiven as sinners and through faith have been made saints. And we give thanks to God as we look to the future when our sinful nature will be replaced with a completely new “saintly” life with God.
You may not like being called “Saint”, especially if your name is Bernard, but come and join us on this festival day where you can as a sinner find new life in Christ as a saint.
– Pastor Tim
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