Sunday, November 3, 2013

"The Living Faithful and the Faithful Departed..."

Photo courtesy of Zeevveez
Meditation for an All Saints Sunday morning

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us."

Letter to the Hebrews, chapter 12 verse 1, NET

"The church embraces believers spread out over the past, present, and future. To the church catholic belong all who who have ever believed, now believe, and all who ever will believe in the saving work of the triune God. The church is celebrated as a whole community embracing all times. As far back as human time remembers (as with Adam, Eve, and Abel), some anticipating form of God's called out people have existed within human history through the flow of time...
"Eternal life with God brings an incomparable interpersonal blessing: communion with God amid the communion of the saints with God and with all who mirror God's holy love (Luke 23.43; John 12.26; Phillipians 1.23). This celebrating community embraces both the living faithful and the faithful departed who now enjoy eternal life with God (Revelation 14.1-4). 
"The church is a fellowship among the faithful now living, but it extends far wider to embrace also all who have died in faith, as well as those yet unborn who will come to faith. Some remain pilgrims in history, while others having died in the Lord are already joyfully beholding 'clearly God Himself triune and one, as He is,' (Council of Florence, DS 693)."

Thomas Oden,  Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology,  pp.745, 823

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