Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Honor of All Saints' Day

Tuesday after All Saints’ Day
November 3, 2009

The Lord be with you

This past Sunday was All Saints’ Day. In light of that, I thought I’d quote a 20th Century saint as he wrote about the saints that came before him, and the saints who were alive in his day.
    Patriarchs of sacred story
    And the prophets there are found;
    The apostles, too, in glory
    On twelve seats are there enthroned
    All the saints that have ascended
    Age on age, through time extended,
    There in blissful concert sing
    Hallelujahs to their King.

    Thus the old funeral hymn ... speaks of the church of all the perfected in heaven (cf. Heb 12:22-23). And this thought of the fathers of the church who have preceded us into heaven rings through the centuries down to Wilhelm Lohe's hymn on the Sacrament, where it says of heaven: "There the angel host stands inflamed in your [God's] light, and my fathers gaze upon your sight." All the saints, from the beginning of the world who have died believing in the Redeemer, whether he was yet to come or had come in the flesh, all members of the people of God of all times to the present day—in this sense, all are fathers of the church. Whether Christians have found themselves in the loneliness of a Siberian prison camp or the isolation of the diaspora or suffering inner alienation within the great secularized "churches" of our century, it has become even more the consolation of those who have suffered for the sake of the church and whom God has led on a “lonely path” to know that they are not alone in the one church of God. They who have been removed from every error and sin of the earthly church stand with us in the seamless fellowship of the body of Christ.
    Hermann Sasse
Hermann Sasse (July 17,1895 to August 9, 1976) was born in Germany, became a Lutheran pastor and theologian, opposed Adolph Hitler, emigrated to Australia in 1949 where he served on the faculty of the seminary of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia (later merged into the Lutheran Church of Australia) until his death. He was one of the leading (some say “the” leading) voice of Confessional Lutheranism in his day.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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