The work of the Reformation does not end with the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation by any means.
Today is All Saints’ Day, and on this day we remember all those who have gone before us, glorifying God through their lives on earth, for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Eternal Kingdom. We are also reminded to look forward—asking ourselves how we might be better saints.
Now, I can’t help but wonder if Martin Luther purposefully submitted his 95 theses right before All Saints’ Day. You see, often we (individually and corporately in our churches) only consider some people saints and the rest of us sinners; but, one important message of the Reformation is that we are all sinners AND we are all saints, thanks to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
We have a special fellowship and bond with one another through the unity of the Holy Spirit. In this fellowship, made possible through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, the Spirit works in all aspects of our lives, making us all saints in the Eternal Kingdom. And because God’s grace is so thorough in Christ, none are more sinful or more saintly than others in God’s eyes. When God looks on us, we are viewed as co-heirs with Christ.
When we understand that we are all saints through the grace of Christ, we can find comfort and challenge from those who have gone before us. We can look upon their right and wrong actions and inaction, and from their lives discover how we can live a fuller (more whole and well) life ourselves. Now, we must not idolize these people and make the mistake of praying to or through them (we reserve that honor for the only worthy mediator between God and humankind, Jesus), but we do thank God for these individuals and learn from their lives.
The neatest part here is that, understanding this eternal truth, our everyday actions can become just as God-serving as our times in prayer or church worship services. Indeed this means greater responsibility to do what is good and right works at all times, but it also means God is always with us and we can lean on the Spirit in every situation.
So, considering all the saints that have gone before, we go forward serving God in all our actions, all of us, as saints ourselves.