The Communion of the Saints1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
- from Hebrews 12:1-2
“I believe in … the communion of the saints”
- from The Apostles’ Creed
We are part of a glad, gathering, global, celebration … a joyfully suffering, dynamic group of people who are being transformed and challenged and loved even as they transform and challenge and love the world around them. This is the communion of the saints or the fellowship of the Jesus-followers or, to put it more simply, the church.
The Apostles’ Creed affirms both “the holy catholic church” (see yesterday) and “the communion of the saints.” Here in the office, we’ve kicked around how these two lines differ from each other and complement each other. And here’s what we’ve come up with …
God’s church is both a global / historical organization and a living / personal organism. The church is not just a meeting and it’s more than a building. It is a community.
When we share in Christ’s life, death and resurrection together, we step into the stream of the church historical and global. We’re part of a church that is hundreds and hundreds of years old and that stretches across the planet. In this line in the Creed (and throughout the Bible in passages like today’s) we are encouraged to frame our fellowship in light of this bigger body that we’re a part of: the communion of the saints.
We are all invited to lean more deeply into the communion of the saints: to feel gratitude for the church historical and to pray for the church global. Take a few moments today to lean in.