From the Editor

HERE COMES YOUR NEW LIFE

One day during October I phoned a local Lutheran congregation and asked to speak with the pastor. The office manager explained he was not available and wanted to offer his voice mail as an option. But instead of saying, as intended, “May I transfer you?” I heard this invitation: “May I transform you?”

I was so taken with the idea that I responded immediately and enthusiastically, “Yes! Please do so!”
If the church isn’t in the transformation business, then what is it about? (Read Romans chapter 12.)

On the very first day of November, Lutheran Christians have the opportunity to celebrate the lives and ministries of great mentors of the faith. “All Saints Day” (November 1), marked in most of our churches on the following Sunday (November 5), is a time to sing our thanks to God “for all the saints.”

The tired old definition, first coined by a Sunday school child looking at a stained glass window, still works: “A saint is a sinner who lets God’s light shine through.” The reason we remember these people is not that they were perfect, or even inherently better than you or I. The reason we celebrate their lives is that they strained toward the light and begged to have themselves transformed. And, while always somehow caught in sin, they were changed in wonderful, godly, saint-like ways.

Lutherans have always believed that, while we cannot save ourselves, or ever become perfect in this life, we can have our lives transformed. We can grow in faith. We can become more like God. We can move toward the light, until it begins to shine through us.

All Saints Day, and All Saints Sunday, are great times to get started with a new life. God is asking us, “May I transform you?”

* * *

Be sure to turn to the editorial and commentary pages in this month’s print edition for a full range of dialog from Twin Cities Lutherans.