All the Saints… the Image of the Holy Spirit..

Thoughts which bring me to Jesus, and to the Cross

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the tame animals, over all the earth, and over all the small crawling animals on the earth.”
27 So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. 28 God blessed them and said, “Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:26-28  NCV

In the artistic tradition of the East, the Church of the beginning, the Church of Pentecost, is the icon of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be seen and represented in this Church. Just as Christ is the icon of the Father, the image of God, and, at the same time, the image of humanity, so the Church is the icon of the Holy Spirit. From this we can understand what the Church really is by nature: the breaking down of the barrier between I and you, the union of men among themselves in eternal love by a fundamental transcendence of self to its very depths. It is the assimilation of humanity into the way of life of the trinitarian God.  

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian (catholic) church, the communion of saints,

As I have tried to think through the Creed over the years, I always wondered why we explain the work of God the Father, and the life of Jesus, and we just mention the name of the Holy Spirit and move past Him, to explain how we are part of the church–and then to contemplate what it means to be part of that incredible catholic body…

Today, as we celebrate All Saints Day, the readings made me think – that the way we see the Holy Spirit is to see the people of God, created in the image of God. That means we bear a likeness to Him, a likeness that over time becomes more visible to others, usually those within the body of Christ first.

This then works with the words of Pope Benedict XVI about Eastern Christian icons of the church. We are the icon of the Holy Spirit, who is transforming us, restoring the image of God in us.

This is why we confess we believe in the Holy Spirit who lives in this church that is us.

Now live in the strength of the Lord and giver of life in whom you trust!


Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Irene Grassl, trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), 347.

Theodore G. Tappert, ed., The Book of Concord the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press, 1959), 18.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on November 2, 2023, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow! This one got me thinking. Thank you!

  2. What a wonderful post!!! I have always loved the icons of the Orthodox Church (sometimes more than those of the Catholic Church). There’s just something about them. I once heard an Orthodox monk say their icons are created to be visual objects of prayer meditated upon. That in doing so you enter into a deeper understanding of the Trinity. Considering the visual effect they have on me I think that may be so. Also your mention of the Holy Spirit made me smile. That’s because I just prayed the Holy Spirit chaplet on the Laudate app tonight. I usually pray the St. Jude chaplet or the Sacred Heart chaplet. But I decided to try something different tonight, and I’m glad I did. The prayers for the Holy Spirit chaplet are really beautiful!!

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