A word from the dean in the November 12, 2017 Adventurer
Last Sunday was All Saints’ Sunday, a day set aside to give thanks for those saints who have gone before us and those who surround us even now. However nice it is to have the day set apart, the thought of sainthood should be ever upon our minds.
There is a deep misunderstanding of what it means to be a saint. Most people think that saints are extra special, extra holy-type Christians who have done great things for the Kingdom. They would be right to say these folks are saints. But biblically, anyone who is in Christ is a saint. That means, that those of you who are reading this right now, if you have placed your hope and trust in the crucified and living Lord Jesus, then you are a saint.
The witness of a saint is to give testimony to who Jesus is and what he has done for us. To that end, to look at the life of a Christian, dead or alive, ought to be a witness to the power of the gospel. It doesn’t mean that you are better behaved or less sinful, but that you’ve been captivated by God’s unmerited love. In fact, as a saint, you realize just how sinful you are.
Every Sunday we thank God for all those saints departed this life in his faith and fear. We remember them because they are a part of our lives, but moreover, we give thanks that they have been delivered into the church triumphant. We don’t pray for the dead; to do so would undermine the gospel. Jesus’ death and resurrection, and that alone, is what guarantees an entry into God’s presence. Praying even that they would grow closer to God in their death would be foolishness as our loved ones who are in Christ are already enjoying that perfect fellowship.
I pray that the Advent will always be a place that gives thanks for saints militant and triumphant. That we would understand our need to look back in order to move forward. And yet, although I find great encouragement in reading of the saints from days past, I know that they would say, “Look not at me, but upon Jesus.” And so we should, for this is the mark of a saint.