Following the example of saints

The feastdays for certain saints are observed during the seasons: St. Nicholas and St. Lucy during Advent, and St. Stephen and St. John during Christmastide.

For some Protestants, the notion of "saints" may come with theological and historical baggage. The New Testament uses the term many times, but almost always in the plural and always to refer to Christians as a whole – the body of Christ.

Still, there are certain Christians throughout history who stand out, whose faithful example we can learn from. In studying the real lives of those who answered the call of Christ, some even to death, we help to strengthen our own faith.

Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Faith” chapter, is the biblical template for this. The author of Hebrews tells us of many people of God who lived, died, and suffered extraordinary things for the sake of their faith. Together they form “a great cloud of witnesses” whose example ultimately points us to Christ. They remind us that we're not alone in this journey, that we, like them, can “run the race that is laid out in front of us” (Heb. 12:1).

As we learn about those who have gone before us, we can praise God for His work of grace in their lives, strive to imitate their example, and be encouraged in our own journey of faith.

It's in this spirit that we talk about St. Nicholas, St. Lucy, St. Stephen, St. John, and others on this site. None of these people was perfect. They were all human beings, after all. But they can serve as Christian "role models" for us. We can follow their example, just as they followed Christ's (1 Cor. 11:1).