Friends, Keep Yourselves in God's Love
In addition to major festivals (like Christmas and Easter) and seasons (like Advent and Lent), our Christian church calendar assigns specific calendar days to other “minor” festivals. The Lutheran reformers understood that there was great benefit in remembering the saints whom God has given to his church and in remembering their faith-filled deeds and words. The Apology (Defense) of the Augsburg Confession (Article XXI) gives three reasons to do so: (1) We thank God for giving faithful servants to his church and showing examples of his mercy. (2) Through such remembrance our faith is strengthened. When we see Peter’s denial of Christ forgiven, it teaches us that, where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. (3) The saints are examples whose lives of faith we imitate in our own callings. October 28 is designated as the Festival of St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles. The biblical record gives us little information about these two men, but in them, we see ourselves, saints in relative obscurity striving for the truth in the face of error and opposition.