All Saints’ Day is approaching, and it has me thinking about the saints whose examples have meant so much to me on my journey of faith.
There’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was the subject of my Ph.D. research at the University of Cambridge. Bonhoeffer’s courage and public witness against the horrors of Nazi Germany cost him his life.
Or I think about the Rev. Martin Junge, who on October 31 is concluding his long service as general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, a communion of churches. His leadership has been tested, as it has for so many of us, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, climate crises, political and social unrest, and deep disagreements among member churches about things that matter. Yet he has persevered with patience, wisdom, good humor, and public testimony that the Good News of Jesus Christ matters for the flourishing of the whole creation.
And of course my mom, who joined the church triumphant some years ago. Her testimony to God’s faithfulness through the vicissitudes of our family’s life laid a foundation of hope and trust that no matter what happens, God abides.
When I think about these witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, what strikes me most isn’t that they were perfect—we’re all sinners and saints, after all—but that they persevered, relying on the grace of God, through the ups and downs of a life of faith.
As you think about the saints who have made an impact on your life, let us give thanks and praise to God for their examples and encouragement!
Robin J. Steinke, President