Communion of Saints
St. Michael and All Angels
29 September 2016

"Therefore, with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven..." introduces the Sanctus of the mass: "Holy, Holy, Holy." The Christian comes into the community of the faithful gathered around the gifts that make holy to receive comfort in the communion of saints through the reception of the body and blood of Christ. That community is not only what can be seen, but is especially what cannot be seen. The community of the faithful who have gone to be with Christ and all the holy angels who worship around the throne of the Lamb are also in our own worshiping communities. The whole heavenly host surrounds our altars because the presence of Christ in His body and blood on our altars assures that the heavenly community is present. Where Christ is, there heaven is.

 

Thus when we are weighed down by trouble, when we see nothing but the earthbound struggles of this world looming before our eyes, the welcoming community of poor saints and the cross-scarred Christ stretches out its arms to embrace us. In that embrace forgiveness is ours through God's giving. In that embrace we receive the nourishing food of body and blood. In that embrace there is true fellowship gathered around the things that truly join all hearts as one and our burdens are shared by Christ and His saints. God has come in His community to a fragmented and strained world offering true unity and genuine peace in Him.


Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther
 
"Whoever is in despair, distressed by a sin-stricken conscience or terrified by death or carrying some other burden upon his heart, if he would be rid of them all, let him go joyfully to the sacrament of the altar and lay down his woe in the midst of the communion of saints and seek help from the entire company of the spiritual body, just as a citizen whose property has suffered damage or misfortune at the hands of his enemies makes complaint to his town council and fellow citizens and asks them for help. The immeasurable grace and mercy of God are given us in this sacrament to the end that we might put from us all misery and tribulation and lay it upon the communion of saints, and especially on Christ.
 
"Then we may with joy find strength and comfort, and say, 'Though I am a sinner and have fallen, though this or that misfortune has befallen me, nevertheless I will go to the sacrament to receive a sign from God that I have on my side Christ's righteousness, life, and sufferings, with all holy angels and the blessed in heaven and all pious men on earth. If I die, I am not alone in death; if I suffer, they suffer with me. All my misfortune is shared with Christ and the saints, because I have a sure sign of their love toward me.' See, this is the benefit to be derived from this sacrament; this is the use we should make of it. Then the heart cannot but rejoice and be strengthened."

Martin Luther, The Blessed Sacrament of the Holy and True Body of Christ
Revelation 12:7-12

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world-he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"   (ESV)
Prayer
O Holy Spirit, lead me into the community of the saints that I might worship around the throne of the Lamb and receive by His gracious care His body and blood for the forgiveness of my sins. Amen
 
For all those  who do medical research, that they would be given success in their labors and that their endeavors would alleviate human suffering
 
For our enemies, that they would be turned from their enmity and be converted to Christ whose burden is easy and yoke light
 
For those suffering from drug addiction, that God our heavenly Father would rescue them from this slavery so that they might be truly free
Art: Durer, Albrecht   The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
©  Scott Murray 2016