Yesterday was All Saints Day and I meant to post this blog but didn’t. I have thinking about the LCMS emphasis of Witness, Mercy and Life Together and trying to tie it into a worship service and I found this blog by Paul McCain. If you notice the quote is the Apology to the Augsburg Confession and its encouragement ot honor the Saints is Witness – as they strengthen faith, Mercy- as they were examples of the same and Life Together – we imitate them in our vocation as we live with our neighbors and struggle for the sake of Christ.
Here is what Article XXI of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession has to say about the proper manner in which we honor and remember the saints.
Our Confession approves honoring the saints in three ways. The first is thanksgiving. We should thank God because He has shown examples of mercy, because He wishes to save people, and because He has given teachers and other gifts to the Church. These gifts, since they are the greatest, should be amplified. The saints themselves, who have faithfully used these gifts, should be praised just as Christ praises faithful businessmen (Matthew 25:21, 23). The second service is the strengthening of our faith.When we see Peter’s denial forgiven, we also are encouraged to believe all the more that grace truly superabounds over sin (Romans 5:20). The third honor is the imitation, first of faith, then of the other virtues. Everyone should imitate the saints according to his calling. The adversaries do not require these true honors. They argue only about invocation, which, even if it were not dangerous, still is not necessary.
Source: Apology of the Augsburg Confession Article XXI Paragraphs 4-7. Concordia CPH: 2006, p. 202.