The preacher has likely taken a bit of a hiatus from the enumerated Sundays after Pentecost last week. It was Reformation Day and we are Lutherans after all. This week also will likely see many of us engaged in another festival, but one whose origins are far older than Reformation Day. In fact, Luther posted his 95 Theses on the eve of this All Hallows Day, a day which has also come into our everyday life as Halloween.
The sermon we preach could be perhaps best understood as based upon those words which we speak at the end of the proper preface, “therefore with angels, and archangels, and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify your glorious name…” Soon thereafter we lift our voices in the Sanctus singing with the Cherubim in Isaiah’s vision and the people who welcomed Jesus on that first Palm Sunday. Just who is in that “company of heaven”? We notice that we are singing with all those who rest in Christ today, the saints who have gone before us and are at rest. John sees them as an innumerable host (Rev. 7:9). You might even sing that old hymn, “Behold a Host” to drive the point home.
Through the miracle of God’s service to us, we proclaim the resurrection and that those who rest in Christ are not separated from us in fact. We may not be able to see them, but we have dinner with them at every Eucharist, for there is only one Lord’s Supper. It was started by our Lord long ago in an upper room on the night in which He was betrayed. Christians have been partaking of that same meal for over 80 generations. This is a day of great comfort for us. As our congregations age, we often find the list of those who have passed to grow longer with every passing year. It is a day to be the preacher of comfort.