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Friday, August 1, 2014

To God all glory, praise, and love
be now and ever given
by saints below and saints above,
the church in earth and heaven.

     Charles Wesley’s “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”
     from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

As Protestants, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about saints, but when we recite the Apostles’ Creed, we state, “we believe in the communion of saints,” and in beautiful hymns like this classic by Charles Wesley we sing of them. The New Testament understanding of the word saint is that every baptized believer in the congregation is a saint. Wesley affirms here that believers on earth and believers who are now in heaven give glory, love, and praise to God. It is our baptism in Christ that connects us and names us as saints. So, yes, you and I are saints! It is not a mark of our holiness, but of our communion with Christ through baptism. In baptism we hear the words that we are each a child of God and that we belong to Jesus Christ forever.

So how does it feel to be a saint? Will this reminder of communion in Christ change your day? If we put “Saint” in front of our name, what would happen? Although the focus here is not on holiness, I think it would change the way we act and the way we respond. So remember this day that you are a saint, you are a child of God, and you belong to Jesus Christ forever.

“To God all glory, praise, and love be now and ever given.” Amen.

Lord, help me to love you more fully so that in loving you, I may more fully love all I encounter this day. Amen.

Written by Liz Nickerson, Family Ministry Coordinator

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