I bow my knee unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (Eph. 3:14, 15).
In the Apostles’ Creed you often say: “I believe … in the communion of saints.” Do you so believe? “Yes, perhaps,” someone replies. “But really I do not know what it means.” For no small part of the answer turn to Ephesians, Paul’s epistle about Christ and the Church. In our text he starts with saints in glory, and we can do no better. Christians believe in communion, or fellowship, with hosts of God’s redeemed children now in glory.
I. Saints in Glory. In a first-class hymnal the 15 songs under the heading “Communion of Saints,” all have to do with the children of God in glory. Here we enter a realm of mystery, of light, also of experience. A recent novel by Agnes Sligh Turnbull, The Day Must Dawn, tells of a pioneer mother who in middle age lies down to die. Listen to the way she comforts her daughter, a comely maiden soon to become an adult.
“I’ll never be far away from you. It’s been that way with my own mother. A dozen times a day, like, it has always come to me: ‘That’s the way mother did,’ or else, ‘I can just hear mother say that!’ You never really lose your mother, my child, not when you love her. So don’t you grieve.”
II. Saints Throughout the World. As redeemed children of the God who loves the world, so do we. Many of the saints whom we know by name we never yet have seen, but as lovers of world missions we have much in common with hosts of believers now witnessing and suffering for him, among them Alan Paton in South Africa. Through current writings and in other ways, you may come to know a certain woman missionary in Pakistan even better than the good neighbor next door.
III. Saints Here ...1
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