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From Pastor Matthew for the 501st Anniversary of the Reformation on Oct. 311st 2020:
Yesterday, October the 31rst, is the day that the Church, and indeed the world, remembers the posting of the 95 theses on the door of the cathedral Church in Wittenberg and the commencement of the continental Reformation. Today is the Feast of all Saints whereupon we celebrate the lives, witnesses, and in many cases, the martyrdoms, of exceptional servants of God.
What makes a saint? And what makes some saints particularly exceptional?
For Lutherans, the matter of the making of a saint is as clear as the matter of justification. God does it! God does it all! God does it all in Jesus...full stop.
Now What makes some saints particularly exceptional I think, is a profound trust in the fact that God has, in Jesus, redeemed them and called them to a life of service to the proclamation of the gospel so that others might come to understand what they, these exceptional saints, have already internalized . A saint is someone who trusts God's promise to them, who lives as if God really, truly, unconditionally loves them. It is this trust and faith and joy that produces in them not a lack of fear per se but a joy and a deep peace that is able to conquer fear. It produces in them the kind of virtues, born of joy and peace, that Jesus speaks about in the Beatitudes from today's gospel text; meekness or "gentleness of spirit", a hunger for righteousness, mercy, the willingness to promote and preserve peace.
The exceptional saints I believe, were able to inhabit the "beatitude attitude" not because they expected a reward for doing so but because they understood that the reward was already theirs.