Our discussion on Sunday, November 6, was about the saints since it was All Saints Day.
Our focal point to begin our conversation was the Prayer of the Day we would pray in morning worship. Below is the prayer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of American (ELCA) that was used. Pray it and then consider what it tells you about saints.
Prayer of the day – All Saints
Almighty God, you have knit your people together in one communion in the mystical body of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant us grace to follow your blessed saints in lives of faith and commitment, and to know the inexpressible joys you have prepared for those who love you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
The questions we begin to ask were these:
- What/who is a saint to you?
- What do you know about the saints?
- Do you know any people in your life that you would consider a saint?
- What are the qualities of those ordinary people that makes you consider them a saint?
- Are YOU a saint? Can you BE a saint in your everyday life?
Everyone in our class immediately responded that she was not a saint. The men were not in the class this particular Sunday. Of course, men are saints too. When we began to discuss those qualities we see in everyday saints (like you and me), it was clear that each person in the class exhibited and lived the practice as we are called by Christ to live. Martin Luther called it living as “little Christs” :
This principle of faith then allows the believer to understand how he or she is to behave. United to Christ, the great king and priest, the believer too is both a king and a priest. But these offices are not excuses for lording it over others. In fact, kingship and priesthood are to be enacted in the believer as they are in Christ—through suffering and self-sacrifice in the service of others. The believer is king of everything by being a servant of everyone; the believer is completely free by being subject to all. As Christ demonstrated his kingship and power by death on the cross, so the believer does so by giving himself or herself unconditionally to the aid of others. We are to be, as Luther puts it, little Christs to our neighbors, for in so doing we find our true identity as children of God.