As we approach Pledge Dedication Sunday and look toward November and All Saints’ Day, I came across a question in the Heidelberg Catechism that made a connection between these two Sundays that I had never before noticed.
Question 55: What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?
Answer: First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.
So what does this mean? It means that we believe that all who professes Christ past and present are part of the body of believers. That we are indeed surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) from ages past. We honor and give thanks for those who have gone before us and we give thanks for the work of God done through them.
Then I took note of the second part. That each of us must share our gifts to enrich the church and in so doing, we share in the gifts of Christ. I think about this in the context of pledge dedication this Sunday. How have we benefited from the saints of Southminster? In what ways has the communion of saints formed who and what we are today?
I give thanks for their work and their gifts that has granted us a beautiful space in which to worship, the legacy of a strong youth program, the long standing work of Presbyterian Women, the history of a strong music ministry, and events like Journey to Bethlehem. We have been the recipients of their work, their gifts of time, talent and treasure. How do we contribute to this legacy? What will we work to strengthen or create and leave as our legacy to future generations at Southminster?
I invite you to prayerfully consider the legacy you help create. In what ways will your participation through you time, talent and treasure at Southminster and in the Kingdom of God add to what God is doing in the world? Join me in giving thanks for all the saints who have gone before us and seeking ways to be of God’s work in the here and now.
Grace, Mercy and Peace,