The Community of Saints
Pastor Scott - August 22, 2022
Those who come from a more liturgical church background (Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalian, etc.) may remember your confirmation. Mine was in 1976 at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Austin, Minnesota. I remember the years of going to church on Saturday mornings with Pastor Knutson, struggling with the memory work and reading my own copy of Luther’s Small Catechism. I remember wearing a red robe with a white carnation and standing before the congregation reciting the Apostles’ Creed. I’m not sure I took everything seriously, but I do know that it laid a foundation for me which has lasted my entire life.
This coming Sunday, we celebrate the Confirmation of 24 of our young adults. They have gone through three years of instruction, mostly through remote, Zoom lessons (which has to be the worst way of learning the foundations of the faith!) Last Sunday, as we gathered to plan their Confirmation Service, they chose as their theme, “Community of Saints,” playing off of the line in the Apostles’ Creed that we say every week, but probably don’t fully understand, “We believe in the Communion of Saints.”
In this context, “Saints” doesn’t mean perfect people or those canonized by the Church. Saints refers to all believers, redeemed and forgiven by Jesus that are part of the large community (communion) both on earth and heaven. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. . .” These are the saints who have finished their race, passed down the faith, and now cheer us on from the Church Triumphant.
On Sunday, these confirmands wanted to acknowledge with this theme the importance of community in living out the faith. After going through three years of confirmation mostly online, they have come to realize the importance of how the community shapes their faith and how they must live out their beliefs in this fellowship.
So, come on Sunday! You are part of the Community of Saints. You have built up the church, passed down the faith and supported these saints as they stand before their village to proclaim:
The baptism into which I was baptized I now understand
The baptism into which I was baptized I now believe
The baptism into which I was baptized I will now live as part of the Community of Saints.
Pastor and Fellow Saint Scott