The Season after Pentecost: Saints
According to the testimony of Scripture, our Lord will return and finish the work he began on the Cross, judging the world, saving his own, and making a final end to evil and sin. We look forward to that day when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, who will reign forever and ever (Rev. 11.15ff).
Recognizing the Reformation: Reformation Day
Reformation Day is the Christian festival day celebrated on October 31 to mark the Reformation, and is observed largely by Protestant mainline churches, and in particular, by both Lutheran and some Reformed churches. Martin Luther’s nailing his letter to the door of the Schlosskirche (known as the Castle Church) in Wittenberg has been marked as the initial spark that ignited the movement known as the Reformation. It would set in motion a series of events which would effect the Church’s faith and practice, even to the present day.
We at TUMI recognize this festival, even though it is not broadly celebrated as the other feast days in the Christian calendar. We are unashamedly Protestant in that, while we affirm the unity of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, we recognize the significance and authority of the prophetic and apostolic testimony of the Scriptures, and reference to the Word of God as ultimate authority in all matters of Christian faith and practice. The church must ever be open to the Holy Spirit-inspired Scriptures, manifesting a willingness to be corrected, directed, and reformed (“ecclesia semper reformands, semper reformanda”: “the church is always reformed, always reforming”). To be open to Christ is to be ever open to responding to his leadership among us, as Head and Lord of the church.
Confessing the Communion of Saints: All Saints Day
All Saints Day is our time as believers to remember our membership in the one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic Church, the same company which Christ is head, and which awaits his glorious return in power. We share both DNA and destiny with those martyrs and saints, those heroes of the faith who came before us. Of special importance, All Saints Day is a time to recall and remember those who gave up their lives for the sake of Christ and the gospel.the ages. With its special remembrance of the martyrs historically and within contemporary society, the focus of All Saints Day enables us to never forget the organic unity we share with all believers everywhere throughout all time. We are spiritually, theologically, and eschatologically linked: we sup at the same Table, hold fast to the same Word, preach to the lost the same Gospel, and wait for the same return of the exalted King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In celebrating this feast we gladly affirm that the Church is the body of Christ, and that the living Savior now lives and is seen in the world through the words and deeds of his people (Jn. 14:12; Heb. 11; Rev. 17:6), and through all who through time have clung to him by faith. To whet your appetite on the riches available to those interested in spending time considering the discipleship of the saints, both ancient and modern, please read a synopsis of some of the heroes and heroines of the faith in our Saints, Martyrs, and Other Luminaries of the Faith.
Awaiting the Arrival of our Lord: The Feast of Christ the King
all_saints_day_statuettes-400According to the testimony of Scripture, our Lord will return and finish the work he began on the Cross, judging the world, saving his own, and making a final end to evil and sin. The Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday before Advent, points to the day when Christ will reign supreme.
The second feast day at the end of this Season, the Feast of Christ the King, (also called the Feast of the Reign of Christ), is the last Sunday of this Season, and the final one before Advent. According to Scripture, our Lord Jesus Christ will return and finish the work he began on the Cross, to judge the world and save his own. The Feast of Christ the King, points to that day when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, who will reign forever and ever (Rev. 11.15ff.). How appropriate to end the season after the coming of the Holy Spirit with a feast which honors the future reign of our risen Savior, the true Lord who one day will reign alone and supreme!
One, Undivided Church: For All The Saints
William W. How and Ralph Vaughan Williams created a marvelous lyrical poem that summarizes and highlights the glorious communion and unity we share with all true believers in Jesus Christ, who hold the hope of the new heavens and earth in their hearts, and who long to see the Lord soon. It is entitled For All the Saints, and is considered a classic hymn outlining the amazing perseverance of the martyrs and believers who have held true in their witness to Christ and his Kingdom.
"For All the Saints"
Words by William W. How
Music by Sine Nomine, Ralph Vaughan Williams
For all the saints, who from their labors rest, Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might; Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light. Alleluia, Alleluia!
For the Apostles’ glorious company, Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee: Alleluia, Alleluia!
For the Evangelists, by whose blest word, Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored. Alleluia, Alleluia!
For Martyrs, who with rapture-kindled eye, Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify. Alleluia, Alleluia!
O blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle; they in glory shine.
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia, Alleluia!
O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold, Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold. Alleluia, Alleluia!
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong. Alleluia, Alleluia!
The golden evening brightens in the west; Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed. Alleluia, Alleluia!
But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day; The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way. Alleluia, Alleluia!
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast, Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost: Alleluia, Alleluia!