Lay Leader Lines

July 7th, 2015 by Kali Lewis

Q:  In the Apostle’s Creed, we say that we believe in the communion of saints.  Who are these saints, anyway, and what is the communion of saints?

A:  The term “saints” can have different meanings.  In some Christian denominations, the term refers to specific individuals who were believed to have lived an especially holy or righteous life, and who have been canonized by the church.  Thus, we hear of St. Patrick or St. John, and the like.  In other denominations, including the United Methodist Church, we use the term “saint” as the Apostle Paul did, to refer simply to a Christian believer, a person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, and strives to live according to the precepts which Jesus taught his followers.  In Greek and Hebrew, the term “saint” means “holy one,” and the term “holy” means to be set apart.  Thus, a saint is a person who is set apart from the ways of the world by his or her beliefs, or in other words, a professing Christian.  To be in communion with one another is to interact with and support each other in fellowship.  Thus, to believe in the communion of saints means to recognize our need to mutually support each other in our faith.  As a result, those who call themselves Christians voluntarily join together in faith to strengthen each other, work in harmony together, and form a community (the church) which is committed to upholding our Christian faith and principles, for the benefit of each individual, the group as a whole, and the world in which we live.