November 2012

Post date: Oct 31, 2012 4:55:41 PM

Emma Lofgren, Lucille Johnson, Ramona Pearl, Shirley Fischer, Irene Trosky, Harriet Gornick, Lela Johnson, Loran Bollinger, Walt Larson, Iona Kuchenbuch. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ who have died in the faith since All Saints’ Day 2011. As I was thinking about November and All Saints’ Sunday this year (November 4th) I realized how many saints of First Lutheran have moved on to their heavenly homes in the last year. They all lived long, full Christian lives and we give thanks for their faithfulness among us. At the same time, we still miss them.

For us who live in the northern hemisphere, November means the dying of the landscape. The flowers are no more. The gardens are frosted and gone. The leaves on the trees have changed colors and fallen. It’s colder, wetter and darker outside. Winter is just around the corner. November causes us to pause and think about our own mortality in a healthy way. We all have only so much time on this earth. How will we use it and make the most of God’s gifts to us of our time and our talents? But whether we are blessed with long earthly lives or a shorter amount of earthly years, as Christians we can all look forward to an eternity with our Savior Jesus in the kingdom of God.

Our second reading for All Saints’ Sunday comes from Revelation 21 and gives us a glimpse of the full reign of God. Revelation 21:3-4—And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

The month of November, and the entire church year ends with Christ the King Sunday on November 25th. As we conclude one church year and before we begin a new one with the season of Advent, we celebrate Jesus as our true king: Christ as our savior and best ruler. In the Gospel reading for Christ the King Sunday, Jesus is on trial before Pontius Pilate. John 18 emphasizes that Jesus is not a national or political or economic king. But Jesus is our true king because he went to the cross for us. Our king died and rose again for us so that we might truly live.

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world…..For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:36-37. Jesus is not a worldly king, but in the Lord’s Prayer we do pray for the kingdom of God to come “On earth as it is in heaven.” So we ask ourselves, “In what ways can we live lives of peace and justice, so that we are in tune with the kingdom of God?”

May the good news of Christ’s victory over sin and death bring us peace, hope and joy this November and always. And may we follow our king Jesus more and more each day.

Peace in Christ,

Pastor Dennis