For all the saints, who from their labors rest – they were not ashamed.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes….
Every day at noon, the campus of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, is graced with the music of bells.
One of the most distinguishing features of the campus of Concordia Seminary is its Luther Tower. In the crown of Luther Tower is a 49-bell carillon. The bells are dedicated to the memory of all Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod pastors.
At noon each day, the carillon plays the first two measures of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sine Nomine. (You may know this tune better as “For All the Saints.”) Then one bell tolls for each name of a pastor in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod that had died on that day in the calendar, starting in 1847 (the year of the founding of the Synod).
It took me a couple of days after I arrived on campus as a first year student to figure this out. I found out about it when I was taking a walk through the campus and happened to be standing under Luther Tower at noon one day.
As they bells rang, I noticed a bulletin board in the archway of Luther Tower. On it was a list of names of the pastors who had “entered glory” on each day of that month in the Synod’s history.
That was quite an eye-opening experience. I never really gave much thought to previous pastors before. Some of whom I was literally walking in their footsteps as I made my way across the campus each day.
Since 1839, many of the pastors of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod studied at Concordia Seminary. First in Perry County, Missouri and then, from 1849-1926 at the Jefferson Avenue campus, and from 1926 to present at the Clayton, Missouri campus.
Many of these men walked where I was walking as a student and would walk as a pastor. So many of them made it their life’s mission to never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So much so that they would serve the church in one capacity or another until the day they rested from their labors in the arms of Jesus.
On All Saints Day – November 1 – the Church remembers all the saints who now rest from their labors. These Christians faithfully confessed the Gospel of Jesus before their world – in their own ways according to the gifts God had given then.
Jesus, who was (and is) their rock, their fortress, and their mighty strength led them to proclaim the Gospel so that others could hear the wonderfully good news of salvation from sin, death, and the devil.
Today, we who are still living can learn from and be inspired by these saints. We are fighting the good fight against Satan and every evil – fighting nobly as did the saints of old.
We can rest assured, even as they do, that there will come one day when Christ will come back. Our warfare will be ended.
On that day, from one end of the earth to the other, through gates of pearl will stream all the heavenly host, as we sing to God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – the great Alleluia without end.
Until that day, let us carry on the legacy of faith and proclamation of the Gospel, never being ashamed of that Gospel which is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes – the Gospel proclaimed by all the saints who now from their labors rest.
Heavenly Father, give me the strength and faith to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that, together with them, I may come to the unspeakable joys you have prepared for those who love you; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2017 True Men Ministries